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.

thoughts?

Original Post

I see Harlan has a NY distributor, which means they most likely move alot of their stuff to big commercial restos like Darden's Capital Grille.  They're probably selling it at quite below the price they sell it to the mailing list which is why you see the Auction ranges.   There's one thing about "being able to afford it", there's another about just throwing money away paying above market rates.

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