Text by Linde Wilkie
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 team, one mark. Sourced from select hillside estates, the Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines of BOND vividly demonstrate the range of Napa Valley's finest terroirs. From the more than sixty vineyards they have worked with over the past quarter century they have slowly and vigilantly selected fives sites. BOND has become their covenant and shared commitment to produce only the best expression of the land.
Here is an introduction from BOND to their five Grands Crus.
MELBURY originates from a spectacular property on the slopes north of Lake Hennessey, in the hills east of Rutherford. The name Melbury is in homage to an historic area in London, where the estate owners reside much of the year. Since its debut with the 1999 vintage, the consistent hallmarks of Melbury have been plush red fruits (currants, bing cherries), redolent with spice and the scent of violets. Elegance and a supple texture deﬁne the structure of this wine. The particular exposition of this rocky 7-acre hillside vineyard is southerly overlooking Lake Hennessey, allowing the vines to capture the morning sun yet moderating afternoon temperatures.
SOIL: Ancient sedimentary soil with compressed clay. Eastern and Southeastern exposure.
ELEVATION: 348-522 feet
QUELLA is the name for the wine from a 9-acre site located in the eastern hills overlooking the heart of the Napa Valley. Making its debut with the 2006 vintage, the name is derived from the German word for a pristine source or an artesian aquifer. This property is steeply sloped facing southwest. The site is an ancient riverbed composed of cobble and rocks interwoven with pockets of tufa (volcanic ash) that were uplifted during the last volcanic activity in the area. Quella displays an almost ethereal quality of blue fruits, graphite, and a vibrant, subtle finish.
SOIL: Ancient uplifted riverbed covered with Tufa (volcanic ash). Southwest Exposure.
ELEVATION: 433-595 feet
ST. EDEN is based upon an 11-acre rocky knoll that is part of a beautiful estate located just north of the Oakville Crossroad. Eden is an historical reference to this region’s designation on nineteenth century maps. The red rocky soil of this north-facing site originates from high in the Vaca Mountains. St. Eden, which appeared ﬁrst in the 2001 vintage, reliably shows great focus, an opulent “sweet” center and notes of crème de cassis, dark chocolate, and roasted herbs. Mineral-tinged and broad on the palate, the wine consistently displays ﬁne-grained tannins and a lush concentration.
SOIL: Iron rich fractured volcanic rock from a landslide. Northern exposure.
ELEVATION: 145-188 feet
VECINA is coined from the Spanish word for neighbor. This is our endeavor with the property situated directly southeast of the BOND winery. The beautifully terraced volcanic soil slopes of this property reside in Oakville’s western foothills. The 11-acre site faces due east and is the recipient of cool morning sun. Vecina, which appeared with the 1999 vintage in the inaugural BOND release, is always powerful, intense and savory. Vecina’s other hallmarks are blackberry fruit, with wild forest ﬂoor and mineral associated overtones.
SOIL: Bedrock overlain with fine grained alluvial wash. Eastern exposure.
ELEVATION: 221-330 feet
PLURIBUS expresses the character of an estate located at an elevation over 1,100 feet on the dramatic slopes of Spring Mountain. 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.
SOIL: Decomposed volcanic material. Surrounded by a conifer forest. North and East exposure.
ELEVATION: 1,137-1,327 feet