Bond is the extraordinary project of Harlan Estate’s proprietor, Bill Harlan. In essence, what he does along with his winemaker, Bob Levy, and his team, is to identify outstanding vineyard sites in specific viticultural regions of Napa Valley, sign the owners to long-term (20 years) leases, and produce essentially 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines from these sites. As I have written in the past, all of these offerings represent world-class Cabernet Sauvignons from Napa meant to endure 30 or more years of cellaring should one have the patience to wait that long. There are five separate vineyard sites in the Bond portfolio. Melbury comes off steep slopes just north of Lake Hennessy, east of Rutherford. It is a 7-acre hillside vineyard planted in compressed clay and sedimentary soils. The Pluribus (which I have mistakenly referred to as E Pluribus in past reviews) comes from a high elevation (over 1,000 feet) site on Spring Mountain on the west side of Napa Valley. The northern-most parcel in the Bond portfolio, it is a 7-acre vineyard planted in pure tufa volcanic bedrock. The most southernly situated vineyard is Vecina, which is the nearby neighbor of Harlan Estate. These are western hillsides of Napa Valley overlooking the Oakville Corridor to the north and Yountville to the south. It is an 11-acre parcel planted at an elevation of 200-330 feet. St. Eden is the only valley floor vineyard. It is composed of 11 acres just north of the Oakville Crossroad planted in gentle foothills. The Quella vineyard is a 9 acre site in the eastern foothills of St. Helena planted on an old alluvial riverbed of cobble and rocks intermixed with the white tufa soils of volcanic origin. All the 2007s have been bottled after receiving essentially the same time in barrel, usually in excess of two years (the same as the Harlan Estate cuvee). The 2008s were all tasted from barrel. Rated 98+."
Bond Pluribus 2007
Other Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2007 Pluribus (the highest elevation vineyard of all these parcels) exhibits tell-tale Spring Mountain characteristics of acacia (or is it violets?) flowers interwoven with blueberry liqueur, black raspberries, cassis and crushed rocks. A wine of great intensity and full-bodied power yet with a freshness and delineation that are remarkable, this stunning wine should drink well for 25-30 years.
Wine Spectator - "Wonderful aromatics lead to a rich, layered mix of spicy currant, blackberry, wild berry and currant flavors that are full-bodied, intense, dense and concentrated, slow to reveal pleasing earth, black licorice, graphite and roasted herb. The tannins give the flavors great traction. To be released spring 2011. Best from 2012 through 2024."
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 ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
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 & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.