Bond Melbury Proprietary Red Wine 2004
Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
The Wine Advocate - "This is a special project of Harlan Estate’s owner, Bill Harlan, that is handled by the same winemaking team as Harlan Estate’s, the inimitable Bob Levy assisted by the well-traveled, brilliant oenologist, Michel Rolland. They have 20-year leases on what they believe are some of the finest vineyard terroirs in Napa, from which they produce between 600-700+ cases of these single vineyard offerings from distinctive micro-climates. Anything produced that is not up to world-class quality is culled out and bottled under the name Matriarch. These wines see essentially the same upbringing as the Harlan Estate. They are bottled after at least 22 months of aging in 100% new French oak, and see virtually no fining or filtration. While each offering is completely different from its siblings, they all compete very favorably with Harlan Estate. The newest offering in the Bond portfolio, Quella, comes from a 10-acre vineyard in Spring Valley (located just off Howell Mountain Road) planted on the volcanic white ash called tufa, which contains plenty of cobblestones. The other cuvees include St. Eden (a valley floor vineyard in Oakville), Melbury (on Pritchard Hill overlooking Lake Hennessey), Vecina (a west-facing hillside site near Harlan Estate), and E Pluribus (a Spring Mountain vineyard west of the charming town of St. Helena). The lots culled out from the single vineyard wines are blended together to produce the Matriarch. This is not simply a second wine as nearly one-third of Bond’s (and Harlan Estate’s) production is sold off in bulk, which means the Matriarch is a serious effort on its own merits."
Wine Spectator - "Fresh black cherry, currant and plum aromas are pure and riveting. Firm, rich and polished, with hints of nutmeg, rose petal and wild berry that are deep and complex. Intense, focused and concentrated, this is beautifully balanced, deep and persistent, with ripe, integrated tannins."
International Wine Cellar - "Good ruby-red. Black raspberry, mocha and smoky oak on the confectionery nose. Quite sweet in the mouth but youthfully tight today, with red fruit and licorice flavors dominating. This has a rather Graves-like mouthfeel. Here the tannins come across as more obvious and less fine than those of the 2005 example."
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The enduring vision at Bond is to create a portfolio of wines that are diverse in their geographic representation and "grand cru" in quality, all under the umbrella of one philosophy, one facility and one mark. Sourced from select hillside estates, the Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines of Bond vividly demonstrate the range of Napa Valley's finest terroirs. View all Bond Wines
About Napa Valley
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.