After not buying Harlan from the mailing list for at least the past 7 years, I finally got an email stating that if I do not buy the fall release, that I would relinquish my alllocation to someone on the waiting list. Haven't seen the prices yet, but last years release was either $800 or $850 per bottle, and the Maiden was up to $250 per bottle.
Is anyone actually buying this? Are there really people on the waiting list, waiting to pay these prices? I suspect the answers are No and No. I think Harlan has made a fatal mistake by continuously raising prices and completely pricing themselves out of the market. While it is a great wine that I thoroughly enjoy drinking, is it really that much better than a Scarecrow, MacDonald, Opus, Schrader etc? Is it 4 x better than Ridge Monte Bello? Again, No and No.
The only reason to pay the current release price is from an investment standpoint or the desire to own a status symbol. But the investment perspective is gone. Auction prices for outstanding years are in the $500 to $600 range. Even with the buyers premium, it is still less than the current release. I think the ridiculous price increases, as well as secondary bottlings, have tarnished the brand. Savvy buyers could pick up The Napa Valley Reserve at auction for a fraction of the price.