I am sure no introduction is needed here on the wines of Harlan Estates, BOND or Promontory, 3 of the premier Napa Valley Estates. The wines from them are some of the most lauded and sought-after wines from Napa Valley, America's Wine Eden!
The Mascot 2018
by Harlan Estates
This is a wine that is never submitted for reviews with any critics. Basically, if it gets a 95 point score, why would anyone then want to pony up to buy the $1,500 Harlan that gets a 95, 96, etc. except to do so knowing so?
Vintage 2017 proved to be one of those seasons that tests the mettle of both the winegrowing team and the vines. The exuberance of early spring was briefly disrupted by hailstorms, followed by heat waves that bracketed the summer months, elevating ripeness in the fruit. Despite these events, we took a calculated risk by waiting. Decades spent working these lands had encouraged us to exercise restraint, allowing the vines—even the young ones—to rely, wherever possible, on their own accumulated wisdom. Discipline rewarded us: as temperatures normalized, sugars rebalanced, acidity held, and harvest began not long thereafter. We are particularly fortunate to have produced The Mascot from fruit brought in before wildfires began in autumn. These adversities seem to have heightened the character of the wine, which emerged from the challenges with purity and poise—a testament to the pedigree of the sites themselves. The growing season’s relative warmth is absent in the glass, replaced by freshness and a piquant tension. The nose draws forward notes of red fruit and elements—earth, warm spice, leather—often deferred to the finish. Lithesome tannins and vibrant acidity attend a crystalline structure that is finely wrought and radiantly transparent.
The Mascot is a wine that originated as an experimental blend shared only with friends and family. Crafted by Will Harlan from younger blocks of vines at Harlan, Promontory and BOND, this wine offers a taste of Napa's most elite estates for a fraction of the price you would pay for the flagship wines. Winemaker's Notes: "This Cabernet is a hedonistic blend of power and balance; expressive and approachable early in its life, with potential to evolve well into the future. Ready to drink upon release, it will age for decades given the opportunity. Made from the younger vines of Harlan Estate, BOND, and Promontory, The Mascot shares a unique glimpse into the evolution of our winegrowing estates.”
The Mascot is a project launched by Will Harlan, the son of Bill Harlan, who founded the iconic Harlan Estate in Napa Valley. Will Harlan recently took over from his father as general manager of the estate, whose cuvees are recognised as being among the greatest Californian wines.
It was then necessary to find a name and a label for this wine. Inspiration was found through, on the one hand, a love for dogs, which was something all of the team at the estate had in common, and through, on the other hand, the family’s engraving collection, one of which is of a white English bull terrier named Prince. This dog has an unusual story, notably having been the mascot for baseball, football and hockey teams sponsored by the National Bank of Pittsburgh, whose Director, the owner of this bull terrier, would allow him to enter the bank as he liked. He would greet customers and employees alike while standing guard.
Through his loyalty and generosity, this four-legged mascot carries values dear to the Harlan family. The Mascot is a warm and generous wine which reveals both the aromatic typicality of Napa Valley Cabernets and the finest wines from these three exceptional estates.