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2002 Harlan Estate

2009 February 2
by Eric Hwang

I had the fortunate opportunity over the weekend to taste a wine of cult status. The Harlan Estate has been rated from 98 to 100 points for several vintages and 2002 was one of them.  It was one of several that was tasted that evening but definitely one of the most memorable.

It had a very dark purple color with the slightest amber edges. Wonderful smell of dark fruits, cassis, tar. Firm tannins give way to a big velvety mouth feel with layered tastes of blackberry, olives, graphite, and anise with a mineral quality that I just couldn’t put my finger on. Well integrated oak and a long smokey finish. The nose and taste both improved after a couple hours in the decanter. Although this wine was good by itself in a flight of other great wines, it really stood out when combined with food later.

It still had plenty of tannins to hold for many years and although I enjoyed it, I would have waited if this was mine.  Especially when you consider the average selling price now of over $825.00 for a 750ml. bottle.

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