x
  • Country ranking ?

    266
  • Producer ranking ?

    17
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2030

The Story

With the founding of Harlan Estate in 1984, we embarked upon our mission of creating a “first growth” of California. The estate’s early vineyard development began with just six acres. Today our planting is essentially complete, with nearly forty acres under vine to the classic varietals: cabernet sauvignon (70%), merlot (20%), cabernet franc (8%), and petit verdot (2%). Invariably, the finished wine is predominately cabernet sauvignon, which we blend with varying amounts of the other three varietals as we seek to express faithfully the unique and distinctive character of the site.

Modest quantities of wine were produced in 1987, 1988, and 1989 from grapes that represented the second, third, and fourth leaf of our estate vineyard. In each of those years a small number of barrels were produced in the hope of gaining a prescient glimpse into what the character of the land—never before cultivated—might have to offer. The wines were blended, bottled, and labeled with a special designation. Though charming in their own way, these first wines fell short of our standards and aspirations, so were never released. They continue to serve as humble reminders of where we began the journey.

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Vintage 1998

On the heels of an el niño winter marked by near-record rainfall, spring rains tapered, with only 2-3 inches in each of March, april, and May. Summer was cool, with temperatures barely topping 90° only 35 times. september, however, had nine days above 90°. October temperatures hovered between 70° and 80°. an extended véraison began in late august and finished around september 7. significant crop reduction—by half, in an already low-yielding year—helped achieve unprecedented ripeness, maturity, and concentration. harvest was completed on november 5, yielding a record low 0.9 tons per acre.

Tasting notes

Medium depth of color, just a hint of mahogany at the edge. still showing fresh aromas, with dominant notes of red currant, espresso, minerals, blueberry, tobacco, licorice, and a touch of chocolate mint. a lovely, elegant wine, it shows remarkable purity, density, and depth of concentration and has a very unctuous texture and juicy sweet tannins in the finish.

after rigorous selection, the final blend in 1998 ended up to be 100% cabernet sauvignon. Drinking very nicely now, it should continue to do so for many (15+) years.

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Average Bottle Price

2016 2015 2013 2010
780€ +9.9% 710€ +7.7% 659€ +22.0% 540€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Latest Pro-tasting notes

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Written Notes

This is a young, concentrated muscular Harlan - extremely youthful, with richly layered flavours and incredibly density. An impressive wine with layers and layers of flavours which rises in the mid palate and lingers on through to the finish. Still very youthful. Amazing finesse given its power.

  • 97p
Medium depth of color, just a hint of mahogany at the edge. Still showing fresh aromas, with dominant notes of red currant, espresso, minerals, blueberry, tobacco, licorice, and a touch of chocolate mint. A lovely, elegant wine, it shows remarkable purity, density, and depth of concentration and has a very unctuous texture and juicy sweet tannins in the finish. After rigorous selection, the final blend in 1998 ended up to be 100% cabernet sauvignon. Drinking very nicely now, it should continue to do so for many (15+) years. 1999

Information

Origin

Oakville, Napa Valley

Inside Information

95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

  The 1998, which is a candidate for the "Wine of the Vintage," was produced from yields of 0.9 tons per acre. There are only 1,100 cases, and it is the first Harlan Estate to be composed of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. A spectacular achievement, it boasts an opaque plum/purple color as well as a sumptuous nose of espresso, mineral, blueberry, blackberry, tobacco, licorice, Asian spice, and roasted meat smells. In the mouth, it is seamless, full-bodied, with an unctuous texture, gorgeously sweet tannin, and layer upon layer of concentration. This is a tour de force in winemaking. It is hard to believe that a wine such as this has emerged from 1998. Anticipated maturity: 2003-2030.   (12/ 2000)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

  Good full red-ruby. Coolish but attractive nose combines blueberry, violet, licorice and lavender; still quite primary. Then juicy and intense if on the lean side, with a captivating floral freshness, brisk acidity and surprising succulent persistence.   (6/ 2010)

90 points Wine Spectator

  Tight, firm and less expressive with its fruit, showing taut dried currant, herb, sage and drying tobacco leaf flavors, with loamy, earthy tannins that are dense and minerally. (Web 2010) 

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Highlights

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Wine Moments

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97p
 Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Pro (China)  tasted  Harlan Estate 1998  ( Harlan Estate )

This is a young, concentrated muscular Harlan - extremely youthful, with richly layered flavours and incredibly density. An impressive wine with layers and layers of flavours which rises in the mid palate and lingers on through to the finish. Still very youthful. Amazing finesse given its power.

7m 23d ago

 Bob Levy / Harlan Estate, Wine Maker (United States)  tasted  Harlan Estate 1998  ( Harlan Estate )

"Medium depth of color, just a hint of mahogany at the edge. Still showing fresh aromas, with
dominant notes of red currant, espresso, minerals, blueberry, tobacco, licorice, and a touch of
chocolate mint. A lovely, elegant wine, it shows remarkable purity, density, and depth of
concentration and has a very unctuous texture and juicy sweet tannins in the finish.
After rigorous selection, the final blend in 1998 ended up to be 100% cabernet sauvignon.
Drinking very nicely now, it should continue to do so for many (15+) years.
1999
"

1y 1m ago

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