Red wine

Harlan Estate, Napa Valley Red Wine 1998

UK Stockist
Secondary market
Tasted by
Adam Lechmere
Tasted in
Harlan Estate

The following tasting note shows the combined comments of the tasting panel organised for Club Oenologique at Harlan Estate on 11 March 2020. Present: Adam Lechmere, Bill Harlan, Will Harlan, estate directer Don Weaver, collector Jim Walker, Harlan educator Kelli White, director of winegrowing Bob Levy, Jamie Ritchie of Sotheby’s fine wine, Elaine Chukan Brown (notes can be found on, winemaker Cory Empting, associate director François Vignaud

Bordeaux blend of average 75% Cabernet Sauvignon plus varying proportions of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Adam Lechmere – Very fine fresh nose with unmistakeable savoury, animal tang. The acidity is ripe and full. Very fresh, light and soft in the mid palate with earthy tannins but tightening later. Giving very little away at this stage

Bob Levy – uncharacteristically fresh, bright nose; savory, dried sage, briary & blackberry dominates with blend of herbs and leafy notes, stewed tomato notes, spice/pepper; soft, slightly leaner mid-palate; finally showing its age and losing its sense of harmony; finish is soft & supple but is tailing off

Cory Empting – brown sugar, mushroom, earthy; very straight, focused clipped tannins; aged, over-evolved Barolo smell

Don Weaver – some secondary aromatics; sweet impression; tannins starting to dry out a bit

François Vignaud – greenness, dusty character, earthy, mushroom, menthol, touch of soy sauce; oxidation? but complex; vegetal, celery (can’t decipher); light, energetic, focused; slightly disjointed between first attack & mid-palate; powerful tannins, dry but long finish

Bill Harlan – fresher, good flavor, more volume than I remembered

Jamie Ritchie – Mature bouquet of plums, spice, tea and tar, with freshness and brightness. Minty, savoury and spicy with leather and undergrowth. Fresh and fine. For drinking now.

Jim Walker –  prunes and subtle black fruits; a remarkable difference in the tannins; a light vintage, clearly house style but calm & approachable

Kelli White –  expressive nose of caramel. cassis, pencil lead, campfire, red apples & soil; a raising sweetness & honey to the nose; very taut mouth, almost lean, with a driving acidity and short, slightly grippy tannins; surprising ripeness of fruit given the growing season

Will Harlan – aromatically evolved, but not unripe; a bit alcoholic on the nose; palate is not bad, slightly rustic; meaty/savory

Drinking Window
2020 - 2027
Wine Style
Napa Valley AVA
Bottle size
Grape Varieties
Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Franc
Petit Verdot