Harlan Estate 1998
Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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.
The 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."
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. This will never be an expansive style of Harlan Estate but I like its intensity and verve and give it the edge today over the 2000. The high quality, and satisfying ripeness, of this wine is no doubt largely due to the fact that only a tiny quantity of juice was bottled under the flagship label."
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."
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Harlan Estate Winery
For over two decades, Harlan Estate has been committed to creating a California "first growth" wine estate. Founded in 1984, Harlan Estate is set in the western hills of Oakville, rising above the fabled Napa Valley benchlands. Carved from the raw land and built for generations, the estate is over 240 acres of natural spendor, 15% of which are under vine, planted to the classic varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. View all Harlan Estate Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.