Here are my notes on a vertical tasting I did of Harlan wines:
A generous and gracious wine friend, Sid Graham, invited a bunch of us wine geeks up for beef, a winefest and cigars yesterday. Now if we can only get him to stop chasing these CA cults...
The theme was Hierarchy of Harlan, a vertical of Harlan Estate wines from 1990-2000, sans the 1998. Wines were tasted blind in two flights of six, with a ringer in each flight. These wines generated very high ratings from a certain wine critic, including two 100-point ratings.
I won't go into the specifics of each wine because the notes are pretty much the same -- oak, oak, black fruit, dill, herbs, chocolate, moderate tannins and sharp acids. I was surprised at how fast the fruit is dropping out of the wines with age.
The 1997 Harlan was the most atypical. While not corked, the wine was not good, and hardly a 100 pointer. There were strange aromas and flavors, with a piney note. I would have recalled this wine.
Three thoughts came to mind rather quickly: 1) If I had any, sell them on Winebid.com immediately, 2) Barring that, I would drink these wines earlier than later, and 3) Boy howdy would I feel bad if I had paid $200+ for these bottles.
I expect more, a LOT more than these bottles delivered. For the price, I could have four bottles of Pichon Baron or Pichon Lalande and be much happier with what is in my glass.