Number 39 May 15, 2009 It’s here.
BOND To the best of our knowledge, Bond has never been available in Memphis. We think that the only other place you can get it in Tennessee is Blackberry Farm, and not many of us have the opportunity to spend time there. Every year in December for the last six years, Mack and PK have gone to Napa Valley solely to have dinner at The French Laundry. Over the years they’ve become friends with the concierge there, Bree Dusbiber. A couple of years ago Bree left The French Laundry to become the marketing director at Harlan Estate, one of the premier wine producers in California and the maker of Bond wines. Before they went last year, Mack called Bree just to see if they could stop by Harlan to see her. During their visit they told Bree about our new store and what we’re trying to do here and before long she looked at them and said “Want some wine?” For some reason, Mack called me to see what I thought. Totally unnecessary. “Of course we do. When will it get here.” Today.
Bond Melbury 2005 $275.00 Robert Parker 94 The 2005 Melbury offers lovely aromas of cedar, creme de cassis, licorice, and smoked/roasted herbs as well as good underlying acidity, full-bodied power, and stunning concentration, but also unmistakable elegance and harmony. While these are all big wines, there is an attractive European tannic profile to the 2005 Melbury. Although accessible now, 3-5 years of bottle age will be beneficial, and it should improve for 20-25 years.
Bond St. Eden 2005 $275.00 Robert Parker 96 Even more captivating than the 2005 Melbury, with extraordinary depth and palate presence is the dense ruby/purple-colored, full-bodied 2005 St. Eden. It possesses the bluer, blacker fruits that seem to come from this area of Pritchard Hill in addition to extraordinary notes of charcoal, acacia flowers, blueberry and blackberry liqueur. This seamlessly constructed 2005 is a sensational effort that is displaying even greater potential than I saw last year. It will drink beautifully for three decades. December 2008
Bond Pluribus 2005 $275.00 Robert Parker 96 The impressive, dense purple-colored 2005 E Pluribus offers up aromas of spring flowers, camphor, incense, crushed rocks, graphite, and blueberry as well as blackberry liqueur. Stylistically, it is closest to the Melbury (even though that vineyard is on the other side of Napa Valley). This beauty should be at its peak between 2011-2030+. December 2008
Bond Vecina 2005 $275.00 Robert Parker 96 The 2005 Vecina is also strutting its stuff. I canâ€™t say it showed better than it did last year, but this wine comes close to perfection for my palate. Made in a Graves-like style, it exhibits scents of roasted herbs, espresso, scorched rocks, and liquid minerals seamlessly integrated into a full-bodied, dense wine offering a cascade of black cherries and black currants. Built for the long haul, this powerful 2005 is soft enough to be drunk early, but it will not hit its stride for at least a decade, and should age for three decades thereafter. December 2008
This is a special project of Harlan Estate’s owner, Bill Harlan, that is handled by the same winemaking team as Harlan Estate’s, the inimitable Bob Levy assisted by the welltraveled, brilliant oenologist, Michel Rolland. They have 20-year leases on what they believe are some of the finest vineyard terroirs in Napa, from which they produce between 600-700+ cases of these single vineyard offerings from distinctive microclimates. Anything produced that is not up to world-class quality is culled out and bottled under the name Matriarch. These wines see essentially the same upbringing as the Harlan Estate. They are bottled after at least 22 months of aging in 100% new French oak, and see virtually no fining or filtration. While each offering is completely different from its siblings, they all compete very favorably with Harlan Estate. The newest offering in the Bond portfolio, Quella, comes from a 10-acre vineyard in Spring Valley (located just off Howell Mountain Road) planted on the volcanic white ash called tufa, which contains plenty of cobblestones. The other cuvees include St. Eden (a valley floor vineyard in Oakville), Melbury (on Pritchard Hill overlooking Lake Hennessey), Vecina (a westfacing hillside site near Harlan Estate), and E Pluribus (a Spring Mountain vineyard west of the charming town of St. Helena). Robert Parker – December 2008
Needless to say, we’re very excited to have Bond in our store.
Stay tuned. More on the way.