Harlan Estate (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1998
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.
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.
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.