"All of these wines represent Bill Harlan’s innovative concept of producing 100% Napa Cabernet Sauvignons from some of the region’s finest microclimates and terroirs—all with different expositions and soil bases.” ~Robert Parker
BOND, a standout in Bill Harlan's portfolio, is one of Napa Valley's most sought-after wines. This Napa gem takes a Burgundian-inspired approach exclusively crafting 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines that artfully capture Napa's equivalent of "grand cru" terroirs. Since its debut in 1999, BOND has secured an astonishing twenty-three 100-point scores from leading critics, a testament to its unparalleled quality. As Robert Parker emphasizes, "The five distinct single vineyards under Bill Harlan's long-term stewardship continue to perform at the level of the finest first growths."
The Birth of BOND
Bill Harlan credits Bob Levy with the genesis of BOND. While collaborating at Merryvale, Bob identified extraordinary vineyards worthy of a single-vineyard distinction. Harlan and Levy solidified long-term contracts with these vineyard owners, birthing the concept of BOND. In 1999, their vision materialized and the world was introduced to BOND’s first commercial release. Initially produced at the old Harlan estate, BOND found its permanent residence after the 2000 harvest when a new winery was constructed for Harlan Estate, and Harlan's former winery became BOND's official home.
Showcasing Napa's Premier Terroirs
Initially, BOND produced two remarkable wines, Melbury and Vecina. A meticulous evaluation process led to the incorporation of three more masterpieces: Eden in 2001, Pluribus in 2003, and Quella in 2006. While often considered single-vineyard wines, they are not labeled as such. This flexibility enables BOND to blend grapes from other vineyards if the primary vineyard faces challenging conditions. Bob Levy clarifies, "Nine out of 10 times, the wines are likely to be sourced 100 percent from one vineyard." BOND also produces a sixth wine, the Matriarch, sourced from barrels that narrowly miss the single-vineyard selection. The Matriarch is a second wine emanating from Napa's coveted "grand cru" vineyards and is an essential discovery in its own right.
BOND Wine: The Terroirs
Nestled on the slopes north of Lake Hennessey, Melbury pays homage to an historic area in London, where the estate owners reside when not at the estate. Since its debut in 1999, Melbury has consistently offered plush red fruits, tinged with spice and the fragrance of violets. The 7-acre hillside vineyard, with its southerly exposure, captures the morning sun while moderating afternoon temperatures. The ancient sedimentary soil with compressed clay adds complexity to the wine.
Derived from the German word for a pristine source, Quella emerged in 2006 from a 9-acre site in the eastern hills. The steep southwest-facing slope, composed of ancient riverbed and volcanic ash pockets, imparts an ethereal quality to the wine. Quella showcases blue fruits, graphite, and a vibrant, subtle finish. The uplifted riverbed covered with Tufa* defines the unique terroir.
Based on an 11-acre rocky knoll just north of the Oakville Crossroad, St. Eden draws from red rocky soil originating in the Vaca Mountains. Appearing in 2001, St. Eden consistently exhibits focus, an opulent "sweet" center, and notes of crème de cassis. The iron-rich fractured volcanic rock adds a mineral-tinged, broad palate, with an elevation ranging from 145-188 feet.
Coined from the Spanish word for neighbor, Vecina thrives southeast of the BOND winery. The terraced volcanic soil slopes in Oakville's western foothills contribute to the intense and savory character of Vecina. Facing due east, the 11-acre site is blessed with cool morning sun. Bedrock overlain with fine-grained alluvial wash** defines the soil composition.
At an elevation over 1,100 feet on Spring Mountain, Pluribus represents the many facets involved in crafting fine wine. With exposures to the north, east, and southeast, the 7-acre site boasts decomposed volcanic material surrounded by a conifer forest. Since its debut in 2003, Pluribus has been defined as a bold, rich, and concentrated wine, featuring dark plum, roasted coffee, and cedar notes.
*tufa, a white ash deposited from an old volcano. The resulting grapes are intensely concentrated, the fruit blue and pretty, with powerful tannins that tend to gracefully age.
**alluvial gravel in Pauillac: the left bank of the Gironde estuary benefits from alluvial gravel deposited by the Garonne and Dordogne rivers. Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Mouton Rothschild, and Château Latour are just a few of the renowned Pauillac estates with vineyards on alluvial soils. In Pomerol: Alluvial terraces are also found in Pomerol, contributing to the unique character of its Merlot-based wines. Château Petrus, Château Trotanoy, and Château La Conseillante are among the Pomerol estates boasting this soil type.
Unearth the Exceptional
Bill Harlan, an icon in Napa's winemaking pantheon, has once again demonstrated his visionary leadership with BOND. Celebrated as "first growth" wines from Napa's "grand cru" vineyards, BOND showcases Napa's diverse terroirs. In high demand and produced in limited quantities, BOND's allure is undeniable. For collectors and connoisseurs seeking a singular expression of Napa's most revered terroirs, BOND stands as the ultimate choice. BOND's consistent receipt of 100-point scores over the years underscores its unwavering commitment to producing wines of the highest order. This Napa front-runner not only emerges from one of the world's most revered wine regions but also stands tall as a beacon of excellence. It unquestionably merits the attention of every collector and connoisseur.