Investment Tips - Other - 30. April 2024

Harlan Estate Has All the Elements of Greatness | Invest In Magnums

This is a rare opportunity to invest in the most innovative winery in the US

“Today, Harlan Estate is, without question, the most innovative winery in Napa Valley.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous

With the above quote, Antonio Galloni sets a great scene for this investment tip. What he fails to mention is that Harlan Estate is also the epitome of unrivalled quality and extremely sparse supply. Nor does the quote say much about the wildfires that have ravaged Napa Valley in recent years and have gradually become the new normal.

We are doing everything we can to acquire Harlan Estate's fabulous wines, and we have to go back almost a year before we last had enough quantities to offer widely for investment. Now there is again a rare opportunity to invest in this unique wine. Even in magnum format, which makes the case even more interesting. Read more about the investment potential of the 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015 Harlan Estate on magnum here.

Harlan Estate - Californian Wine Perfection

Harlan Estate is more than just a winery; it is the story of a visionary's determination and a celebration of the pursuit of perfection. When former estate developer Bill Harlan was captivated by the magic of wine during a trip to Bordeaux and Burgundy in the 1980s, the dream of creating the ultimate Californian wine experience was born. This dream took shape in 1984 when Bill Harlan decided to produce a first growth from the undulating hills of Oakville.

With 97 acres of land and a vision in his heart, Bill Harlan planted 16 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and allied himself with a skilled team of winemakers. After three vintages, the first vintage was released, and Harlan Estate began its journey to legendary status.

Over three decades, Harlan Estate has consistently strived for perfection, without fully embracing it. Bill Harlan, a man of vision and determination, believes in his own way that it is the imperfection that makes wines unique and interesting. But despite his resistance to perfectionism, he will not release a vintage unless it scores over 95 points.

Harlan Estate's policy is simple: great wines are made in the vineyard.

The grapes are selected with care and attention, and in the cellar the winemakers work their magic, resulting in wines that are globally recognised for their freshness, elegant texture, and great complexity.

This passion for quality and exceptional craftsmanship has led Harlan Estate to the top of Napa Valley's wine hierarchy and into worldwide recognition. With each vintage produced in limited quantities of just 2,000 cases or 24,000 bottles, Harlan Estate is more than just a winery - it is a legend.

Harlan Comes With Inherent Unrivalled Quality And An Elite Bottom Line

‘These wines possess all the elements of greatness - individuality, power combined with elegance, extraordinary complexity, remarkable aging potential, and compelling richness without ponderousness.’

- Robert M. Parker, Jr.

That Bill Harlan will not release a vintage that scores below 95 points sounds like a utopian goal. But in this millennium, there have only been three times that a Harlan Estate has received less than 95 points from James Suckling, Wine Advocate and Vinous respectively. The 2011 vintage received 93 points from Wine Advocate, while the 2000 vintage received 91 points from Wine Advocate and 93 points from James Suckling.

The rest of the releases live up to Harlan's doctrine of a minimum of 95 points, making this a Californian winery with an extremely elite bottom level if it even makes sense to talk about bottom in this case.

The 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015 vintages are available for investment in this investment tip, and across the three critics mentioned above, they score 98.7 points (2015), 98 points (2014), 98 points (2012) and 98.7 points (2010) respectively.

In the chart below you can see the individual scores and also see that the overall level is extremely high. So, with Harlan Estate, it is not about whether you get quality for your money - but rather whether you can purchase quantities at all - because extremely small quantities are produced, and this is even on Magnum.


Rare Supply And The More Frequent Presence Of Wildfire

As mentioned, only around 24,000 bottles of Harlan Estate are produced per vintage, which in itself is reminiscent of the extremely sparse quantities we know from Burgundy. And of those 24,000 bottles, the vast majority are regular format, meaning that the supply of Harlan Estate in magnum format is extremely limited even at release.

And when it comes to wines from Napa Valley, there is one very pressing factor that could potentially make the sparse supply even more limited: wildfires.

“Wildfires have become the new normal in California, so as a community we must work together to be more resilient and better prepared. Doing our part to prevent severe wildfires and mitigate losses for growers and farmworkers has become one of NVG’s greatest priorities. Our Wildfire Resources support the grape-growing community in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from fire disaster.​”

The above quote comes from Napa Valley Winegrowers, and particularly large wildfires in 2017 and 2020 have left Napa Valley growers on massive fire alert. The 2020 fire meant that Harlan Estate either had to harvest extremely early - or lose the entire crop. And the early harvest resulted in a style that was different than ever before.

And what does that mean?

It means two things: One is that wildfires have become commonplace in Napa Valley, putting growers at greater risk of losing their yields or being pressured to harvest earlier. And earlier harvest means different style. So we do not know what the future holds - but we do know what has already been produced - and that is unrivalled wine with an elite bottom level.

Magnum: Why?

In this investment tip, you can only choose magnum, so you are exempt from choosing between formats. However, it still makes sense to present the qualities of magnum.

Magnum bottles are twice the size of regular 0.75 litre bottles. However, the amount of oxygen in the bottle is not correspondingly greater, which basically means that wine in magnums matures slower and better and thus has greater storage potential. Furthermore, they are already much rarer than the normal formats upon release.

And the wines from Harlan Estate have ‘remarkable aging potential’ according to Robert Parker, and Wine Advocate assesses the drinking window of the four vintages available in this investment tip as follows:

Vintage 2015: 2021-2051
Vintage 2014: 2019-2049
Vintage 2012: 2018-2068
Vintage 2010: 2016-2046

It's worth noting that the above estimates are for regular format bottles, so the drinking window for the magnum format available here is significantly longer.

Best Price On Harlan Estate

As mentioned, Harlan Estate in magnum format is a rarity, which is why it is often a rarity to be able to choose the vintage you want. Here, four different vintages are offered for investment, and they are offered at the best price in the market according to offers on

The cheapest price for 2015 Harlan Estate on is currently €2,757*. Your price is €2,650*.

The cheapest price for 2014 Harlan Estate on is currently €1,918*. Your price is €1,750*.

The cheapest price for 2012 Harlan Estate on is currently €2,200*. Your price is €2,000*.

The cheapest price for 2010 Harlan Estate on is currently €2,624*. Your price is €2,450*.

*ex, duty, VAT, and tax. In full boxes and perfect condition

Rarewine Invest's Opinion

It is not every day that Harlan Estate is offered for investment - especially not in magnum format. This is also why you get the opportunity to choose between four different vintages. This is simply what's available right now, and when the opportunity will arise again, we can only speculate. This is why we do not recommend one over the other.

Harlan Estate is one of the most popular Napa Valley brands. Their level is extremely high and their supply is correspondingly low. Especially in magnum format. Add to this the fact that the future of Napa Valley is threatened by wildfires that seem to have become a constant danger to wine production.

Therefore, we do not know what the quality at Harlan Estate will be like in the future. Whether future harvests will be lost. We only know the quality that is already in the market. And here you get an extremely favourable price.

Invest in Harlan Estate

Contact us via the contact form at the bottom of the page if you want to know more about your investment options or order the wines directly through the form.

2015Harlan Estate1,500OWC1€ 2,650
2014Harlan Estate1,500OWC1/OWC3€ 1,750
2012Harlan Estate1,500OWC2€ 2,000
2010Harlan Estate1,500OWC1/OWC2/OWC3€ 2,450
*All prices are in EUR excluding customs, duty and VAT upon delivery to a bonded warehouse through Nordic Freeport. The wines are sold only in full cases unless otherwise stated, and the price is per bottle. A minimum purchase applies – contact us for the specific minimum purchase for this option. Assumes portfolio at RareWine Invest. The price of these wines may have changed since the publication of this article. Reservations are made for errors.

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