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"These wines possess all the elements of greatness - individuality, power combined with elegance, extraordinary complexity, remarkable ageing potential, and compelling richness without ponderousness." Robert M. Parker, Jr.
So, what has led to Harlan Estate being widely considered as one of the world’s finest wines? Firstly, its unique and exceptionally diverse terroir located in the western hills of Oakville. Secondly, and, equally important, the long-term vision and ambition of the Harlan family who have assembled and retained a longstanding team throughout their vinous journey. It was evident that, whilst still in its infancy, the quality of the wines was already at an extremely high level. With a long-term vision spanning over 200 years, their lofty ambition to create a “First Growth in California” was well underway. Two years later, with the release of the legendary 1994 vintage, it became clear that this dream was turning into a reality. Not long after, Robert Parker declared that “Harlan Estate might be the single most profound red wine made not just in California, but in the world”.
Harlan Estate has two very distinct soil types: the hills to the east, of volcanic origin, and the slopes to the west of sedimentary composition.
The common thread across the property is the paucity of topsoil and the 360-degree exposition of the many separate blocks. After years of efforts in these poor but diverse soils, the vines have established themselves deep into the bedrock. Viticulture has always been as durable as possible, applying organic and biodynamic farming practices. Grapes are carefully sorted by hand and fermented in small lots in wood fermenters. With the lightest intervention possible, but careful attention throughout fermentations, the wine is then pressed off into French barriques, with a balanced use of new and used oak, and aged for about 24 months prior to being bottled, unfined and unfiltered.
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