HARLAN ESTATE 2015
(Oakville, Napa Valley, CA) $1500
With his set jaw, flowing white hair and piercing blue eyes, Bill Harlan looks like he could have walked out of the novel Atlas Shrugged. Known for his relentless attention to detail, Harlan became fascinated by wine in the 1950s and 60s. He bought the beautiful hilltops (with 360 degrees of exposition) in the western elevations of Oakville that would become Harlan in 1984. The Harlan wines are generally exquisitely balanced classics with textures of pure silk. The 2015, made by longtime Harlan winemakers Bob Levy and Cory Empting, is languorous and sublime with vivid cassis, sweet tobacco, and foresty aromas and flavors, and an achingly slow finish. Harlan is never varietally labeled. The vineyard, however, is planted to 70% cabernet sauvignon, 20% merlot, 8% cabernet franc, and 2% petit verdot.