Bond Estates Oakville
The Bond label was established in 1996 by Bill Harlan to produce a small range of bespoke reds from exceptional vineyard sites to compliment his great HARLAN ESTATE Oakville red. The first releases followed in 1999. The wines are all individually branded rather than labelled by vineyard source in order to ensure long term continuity and all are predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon. At a time when an increasing number of small volume Napa reds are being released and sold solely through mailing lists it is refreshing that a sizeable proportion here is purposely distributed through the wine trade. The same commitment to quality is maintained as with the two Harlan Estate reds. Vinification is in small lots with some whole berry fermentation in oak. Each of the wines is then aged in its own cellar. Matriarch is a second label used to ensure the integrity of the five premium labels. It is in a softer, more accessible style but nonetheless offers impressive depth and concentration. The Melbury comes from a south-eastern exposed site off Howell Mountain Road overlooking Lake Hennessey. It is the lightest of the quartet but displays intense red cherry fruit and great elegance. St Eden comes from red volcanic soils on the eastern side of Oakville, north of the Oakville Crossroad. Loaded with rich, dark fruit it is a very opulent and seductive style with a rounded texture and very supple tannins. Vecina comes from an eastern exposure in the foothills above Oakville. It is a dense and very structured wine with a subtle and restrained core of very rich, blackberry essence and almost chocolatey Cabernet fruit. It demands cellaring for at least 6 or 7 years. Pluribus was introduced with the 2003 vintage. Coming from a vineyard with a south-eastern exposure on Spring Mountain, while rich and opulent in style there are some very sturdy mountain tannins which need some patience. A large portion of the Vecina and Pluribus is barrel-fermented to round and soften the palate when young. The newest addition to the portfolio is Quella, added with the 2006 vintage after 8 years of experimenting with the site. It originates from an uplifted riverbed east of Rutherford. The intention has been to produce a subtle, graceful wine with sumptuous blueberry fruit and retain fine grained tannins and an alluring minerality. Although this wine has not yet been tasted you can expect undoubted class and at least ★★★★★ quality (DM)
To find out more about Bond Estates and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Wine Guide Napa and Carneros..
Or indeed you can check out the Main Guide that is 2250 pages, reviews over 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines here …