A drought (California) year. Hot and dry from beginning to end. Early bud break, flowering, and harvest. Hardscrabble and Avenius Vineyards yields were reduced to about one ton per acre (15 hl/h) due to a devastating June 15 hailstorm. Glen Manor was unscathed. Sugar levels were freakishly high and acids were very low.
Whites are big and somewhat flabby and are beginning to tire without their typical fresh minerality.
Reds are fleshy and dark with great depth, but the tannins are slightly drying, making the vintage more rustic than its 1997 or 1999 counterparts. 1998 requires several years bottle aging to soften up and integrate. Drink 2005 to 2011.