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2012 Harlan The Maiden

2012 Harlan The Maiden

93 VM


From the critics:

92 RP

92 WS

Featured Review
The 2012 The Maiden is super-refined, polished and expressive. Crushed flowers, sweet red berries, mint, pine and cinnamon are some of the signatures. Open-knit and medium in body, the Maiden is racy and super-polished to the core. It is feminine, lifted in style and well-suited to near-term drinking. Vinous Media

Vinous (Galloni) | 93 VM

Critic Reviews

The 2012 The Maiden is super-refined, polished and expressive. Crushed flowers, sweet red berries, mint, pine and cinnamon are some of the signatures. Open-knit and medium in body, the Maiden is racy and super-polished to the core. It is feminine, lifted in style and well-suited to near-term drinking.

Vinous Media | 93 VM
The 2012 The Maiden displays soft blackcurrant liqueur notes, as well as cedar wood, forest floor, underbrush, and hints of white chocolate and espresso. It is broad, savory, sexy and opulent. Drink it over the next 12-15+ years.

Robert Parker | 92 RP
Exhibits a dusty, dried herb savoriness amid dark berry, cedar and new leather scents, ending with fine-grained, gripping tannins and a touch of mocha. To be released spring 2016. Drink now through 2028. 1,208 cases made.

Wine Spectator | 92 WS

Wine Details for 2012 Harlan The Maiden

Type of Wine California Red : Whether it's Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Zinfandel, Californian red wine producers have a lovely habit of taking a varietal and expressing its essence in a unique, never before seen way. From Napa Valley to the regions south of Los Angeles, there's a red for everyone - and it's never too late to start exploring.
Varietal Proprietary Blend : Proprietary Blend is a general term used to indicate that a wine is comprised of multiple grape varietals which are either “proprietary” to the winery or is blended and does not meet the required maximum or minimum percentage of a particular varietal. This also is the case for the grape’s place of origin, especially for region, appellation or vineyard designated wines. There are endless examples of blended wines which are labeled as “Proprietary Blend” and in conjunction with each region’s stipulated wine laws and regulations makes for a vast blanket for wines to fall into. Perhaps the simplest example is California; if a wine is to be labeled as Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, it is required to have at least 75% of the varietal (Cabernet Sauvignon) and 85% of the fruit must be cultivated from the Napa Valley wine district. If the wine does not meet the requirements, it is then labeled as Proprietary Blend.

Country US : As one of the most prolific and innovative wine regions in the world, America is a joy to explore. Most wine connoisseurs will agree that the nation's finest and most compelling wines are being produced today, which means that we have front-row seats to one of the most inspirational stories in wine history. While other regions tend to focus on specific wine styles and have somewhat strict rules as to which varietals you could grow, areas like California have few such restrictions in place. As a result, creative visionaries behind America's most reputable estates have been able to develop compelling, unique, and innovative styles, with a level of terroir expression that rivals even France's largest giants.
Region California : With a history of wine production that dates back to the 18th century, California currently sits as one of the world's most prolific and reputable wine regions. With an area as vast as California, you can expect a colorful collage of terroir profiles, a series of microclimates, and micro-environments that give the wine a unique, memorable appeal. The region's produce is far from homogenized in that sense, and it would take you countless hours to sample all of it. While the region boasts scars from the Prohibition era, it went through what can only be described as a viticultural Renaissance sometime after the 1960s. At that point, California went from a port-style, sweet wine region to a versatile and compelling competitor on the world market. Today, no matter which way your taste in wine leans, you can find a new favorite producer among California's most talented.

Notable sub-regions include legendary names like Napa Valley and Sonoma County, places that any wine lover would die to visit. California's quintessential warm climate allows for incredibly ripe fruit expressions, a style that provides a stark contrast to Old World-inspired, earthy classics. Even where inspiration was clearly taken from staple French appellations, Californian winemakers put their own unique spin on the wine.
Subregion Napa Valley
Appellation Oakville


Producer Harlan Estate : During the early 1970’s a viticultural renaissance was occurring in Napa Valley and throughout most of California’s fertile winegrowing hotspots. Individuals with dreams of becoming vintners and owning wineries flocked to Oakford, Rutherford, the Sonoma Coast and other locales in hopes of bringing to fruition those dreams. As it is synonymous with winegrowing, those dreams can never bear fruit without roots.

Bill Harlan had led a colorful life flying planes, gambling professionally and eventually becoming a successful real estate developer but his dream was to own a “little winery.” His expertise in real estate enabled him to see value in something that may not visibly display it. Harlan had been searching for prime land in Napa for his own vineyard, when a dilapidated country club came on the market. Harlan realized the value and the birth of his dream blossomed. The property was transformed into the Meadowood and became the top hotel and resort in Napa Valley. The first Napa Valley Wine Auction took place at the Meadowood in 1981 and has every year since.

The preparation for the auction led Harlan on a trip to France organized by Robert Mondavi in 1980 in which visits to the First Growth of Bordeaux and Grand Crus of Burgundy were arranged. A sense of clarity followed, as did an entirely new perspective on the world of wine. The trip became a transformative experience and one that would ultimately catapult him to becoming one of Napa Valley’s finest wine producers.

Little by little Harlan began acquiring the finest lands looking to mimic the terroir, landscape and soil structure of First Growth Bordeaux. The next important step was to build a key team of individuals who shared his passion in bringing ideas into reality. To design and create something that has never before existed in the hope that it will survive for centuries means that each of the thousands of decisions involved in its making requires clarity of thought and purpose; and intimate knowledge of the terrain where the building and planting will occur.

Today that continuity, drive and unmistakable passion remains at Harlan Estate where a dream of becoming a vintner and owning a “small vineyard” has come to fruition and ever more so, as it has become a First Growth Napa Valley producer with such an allure that it is now World-renowned. With much the same vision, the vineyards are planted to mimic the best Bordeaux estates on impressively high elevations in Oakville. The varietal combination would be at home in Bordeaux as well; comprised of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.

Harlan Estate has become a mythical California Cabernet and are sold to a member’s list only. They can be found on secondary markets but with a yield of only 1,200 to 2,000 cases produced annually, it has become as elusive as it is sought after. A second wine, The Maiden, is produced as well and a mere 900 cases are produced each year. Not many people can boast of flying planes, gambling professionally, or developing land in wine country, but Bill Harlan’s idea of a more colorful lifestyle was to own his own winery, and that he certainly accomplished.

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