Bond Pluribus (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2004
The nose is extremely nuanced, with typical aromas of roasting coffee beans, ripe black currant, and hints of allspice. Upon entry, the acidity is lively and resonant while the mid-palate is rich. As is typical in the best vintages of Pluribus there is a whiplash effect on the palate. The tannins build to what feels like a firm stop, then return and melt slowly over the sides of the tongue.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Perhaps the wine that jumped the most in score from when I first tasted these wines out of bottle in 2008, is the 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Pluribus. Rated 94 back in 2008, it’s now a solid 98 and knocking on the door of perfection. This wine comes from a Spring Mountain vineyard northwest of the charming town of St. Helena. It has gorgeous notes of graphite, acacia flowers, blueberry liqueur, scorched earth and hot stones. Reminiscent of a top Graves, it is another full-bodied, rich, concentrated wine with good acidity as well as fabulous purity and concentration. I had not seen the Graves-like character in this wine prior to bottling and post-bottling, but it is there now.
A rich, opulent, fleshy style, brimming with ripe black cherry, wild berry and currant flavors that are supple and well-focused, keeping the fruit well-centered and ending with ripe tannins that have a nice earthy, cedary edge. There's wonderful length on the finish.
In the Bond stable, Pluribus marches to a different beat. There's something of a baked pastry quality, with scents of marzipan, blackstrap molasses, and blackberry-cherry pie filling. This is the rawest Bond wine, the most tannic and least approachable. It's almost rustic in heft, like an Amador Zinfandel. Best to cellar for a few years, and could go the long haul.
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.
Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.
Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.