In Profile: Bond Winery
Grand Cru is no longer a term reserved solely for France. From the Piemonte to Napa Valley, there has been an increasing interest in identifying the best of the best vineyards. Bond Wine solely produces five different single vineyard wines and tasting them side by side reveals how the character of Cabernet Sauvignon can express itself quite differently, depending on the terroir.
Prior to founding Bond, founder Bill Harlan owned Merryvale Winery. At the time he worked with around 60 different vineyards, but over the years, he zeroed in on the ones he considered the cream of the crop, leading him to sell Merryvale and found Bond in order to highlight the terroir in a singular way.
The Bond winery is based in Oakville, but the vineyards come from a few different subregions of the Napa Valley AVA. Bond doesn’t simply buy grapes, it has vineyard teams that work the parcels for years before including the grapes in the wine. The five single vineyard wines are Melbury, Quella, St. Eden, Vecina and Pluribus.
Melbury is located on a seven acre south-facing hillside, allowing the grapes to soak up the sun. The sedimentary soils with compress clays yield wines of elegance with aromas of red fruit and spice.
Vecina, along with Melbury, was the first of Bond’s releases. It is located in Oakville and the east-facing hillsides receive the morning sun. The resulting wines are dark-fruited, with a robust mineral core.
Quella is the German word for a spring or aquifer - appropriate for a site located on an old uplifted riverbed. The wines are lithe, with notes of blue fruit and graphite.
Pluribus lies high in Spring Mountain and the name comes from Latin for “many” - signifying all the different aspects that play part in winemaking, from farming to aging. Pluribus’ wines are full of structure and power, with dark plums, coffee and earth. It is a bold wine and welcomes time to breathe.
St. Eden, named after the site’s name on 19th century maps, is considered stylistically in the middle of Bond’s offerings; not as lifted as Melbury, but not as big as Vecina or Pluribus. The result is a wine of focus, with aromas of creme de cassis and chocolate, buoyed with wet rock and herbs.
A bottle from any of the five vineyards is outstanding by itself. If you've ever had the pleasure of tasting all the wines, side by side, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation of the variety of terroirs in Napa.