BOND: A portfolio of wines that are diverse in their geographic representation and 'Grand Cru' in quality, all under the umbrella of one philosophy, one team, one mark.
In his ongoing quest to produce world class wine in the tradition of 1st Growth Bordeaux, Bill Harlan - of Harlan Estate fame - started Bond to create single vineyard wines from sources meeting his high growing standards. Winemaker Robert Levy produces five vineyard designate wines: Melbury, St. Eden, Vecina, Pluribus and Quella, as well as a blend called The Matriarch. Levy's goal is for each wine to take on the unique expression of its vineyard site and Bill Harlan's ultimate plan is to produce wines from a total of 6 unique vineyards. The wines are known for their lush, deeply concentrated flavors, and their elegance and finesse, which Bill and Robert feel define them as the "Grand Crus" of Napa. Fewer than 1,500 cases of the Matriarch, and between 400 and 700 cases of the vineyard designates are produced annually.
Sourced from select hillside estates, the Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines of BOND vividly demonstrate the range of Napa Valley's finest terroirs. From the more than sixty vineyards we have worked with over the past quarter century we have slowly and vigilantly selected five sites. BOND became our covenant and shared commitment to produce only the best expression of the land.
Early in our winemaking partnership, before the advent of Harlan Estate, we worked with over sixty top growers and vineyards throughout the Napa Valley.
By way of this valuable experience, we had the opportunity to identify select properties that we felt had the potential to define the "Grand Crus" of Napa Valley. These small, hillside Cabernet vineyards, ranging in size from 7 to 11 acres became the basis for the wines of BOND.
The five “Grand Crus” selected by BOND include Melbury, Quella, St. Eden, Vecina, and Pluribus. MELBURY originates from a spectacular property on the slopes north of Lake Hennessey, in the hills east of Rutherford.
The name Melbury is in homage to an historic area in London, where the estate owners reside much of the year. Since its debut with the 1999 vintage, the consistent hallmarks of Melbury have been plush red fruits (currants, bing cherries), redolent with spice and the scent of violets. Elegance and a supple texture define the structure of this wine. The particular exposition of this rocky 7-acre hillside vineyard is southerly overlooking Lake Hennessey, allowing the vines to capture the morning sun yet moderating afternoon temperatures.
QUELLA is the name for the wine from a 9-acre site located in the eastern hills overlooking the heart of the Napa Valley.
Making its debut with the 2006 vintage, the name is derived from the German word for a pristine source or an artesian aquifer. This property is steeply sloped facing southwest. The site is an ancient riverbed composed of cobble and rocks interwoven with pockets of tufa (volcanic ash) that were uplifted during the last volcanic activity in the area. Quella displays an almost ethereal quality of blue fruits, graphite, and a vibrant, subtle finish.
VECINA is coined from the Spanish word for neighbor. This is our endeavor with the property situated directly southeast of the BOND winery.
The beautifully terraced volcanic soil slopes of this property reside in Oakville's western foothills. The 11-acre site faces due east and is the recipient of cool morning sun. Vecina, which appeared with the 1999 vintage in the inaugural BOND release, is always powerful, intense and savory. Vecina's other hallmarks are blackberry fruit, with wild forest floor and mineral associated overtones.
ST. EDEN is based upon an 11-acre rocky knoll that is part of a beautiful estate located just north of the Oakville Crossroad. Eden is an historical reference to this region's designation on nineteenth century maps.
The red rocky soil of this north-facing site originates from high in the Vaca Mountains. St. Eden, which appeared first in the 2001 vintage, reliably shows great focus, an opulent "sweet" center and notes of crème de cassis, dark chocolate and roasted herbs. Mineral-tinged and broad on the palate, the wine consistently displays fine-grained tannins and a lush concentration.
PLURIBUS expresses the character of an estate located at an elevation over 1,100 feet on the dramatic slopes of Spring Mountain.
The name refers to the Latin word for many, and was chosen to signify the various facets involved in creating a fine wine: from the sun, soil, and climate of a vineyard, to the team of people who guide a wine through its evolution. A breathtaking mountainous 7-acre site with steep exposures to the north, east and southeast, the soil is comprised of volcanic bedrock. Pluribus, which debuted in the 2003 vintage, is defined as a bold, rich and concentrated wine; elements of dark plum, roasted coffee and scents of cedar are inherent throughout the vintages.
Making wines of superlative quality demands a good deal of discernment and often requires sacrifice.
Rigorous selection is employed at every stage of the wine's development. Many components, though singularly attractive and possessing lavish attributes, are not utilized in the final blends for BOND. This provides us the opportunity to create a second wine. This blend, offered under the MATRIARCH label, will always be evocative of its pedigree and distinct in its hillside character.