Bond Estate Tasting – NY Vintners

September 2012, 21 Warren Street, Tribeca

New York Vintners recently had a Bond Estate tasting where we got to try two different vintages from each of their vineyard sites. It was a rare opportunity to compare vintages within a specific vineyard site as well as across the different vineyard sites. This was a particularly exciting tasting to me because you really got to see how the different terroirs influenced the wine and how that could change year to year.

All of the wines are made by Bill Harlan’s team – from vineyard management to winemaking. With the same winemaking team at the helm and a consistent aging process of 26 months in oak followed by 16 months in the bottle, the differences in these wines were driven by their terroir and to a small extent varietal selection. The five vineyard sites are in their map below, showing the different elevations, sun exposures and soil types they use:

The five vineyard sites of Bond Estate

We tasted 10 wines in total – two from each of their vineyard sites. Notes and recommended food pairings by their estate director, Paul Roberts, are listed below. I ended up purchasing a 5-pack of the ’06 wines across all vineyard sites:

  1. *** 2005 and 2006 Bond Melbury – 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, powerful aroma of floral fruit with a palate of crushed red berries. Slight preference to the ’06 here which came across as more well balanced despite being a year younger. Rocky hillside vineyard with a Eastern and Southeastern exposure. Sedimentary soil with compressed clay. Recommended food: chicken, turkey. $295
  2. *** 2006 and 2008 Bond Quella – 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, more tannins noticeable than in the Melbury. Cedar with darker fruits – less enthusiastic about Quella then Melbury and a slight preference to the ’06 vs. the ’08 which still felt way too young. Vineyard site is an old riverbed of cobble and rocks with pockets of volcanic ash. Southwest exposure. Recommended food: anything with lots of salt. $295
  3. **** 2006 and 2007 Bond St. Eden – my favorite of all the vineyard sites, just beating out Vecina. This is what I think of when I think of a big, well done California wine. Slight preference to drinking the ’06 today although the ’07 may be the better wine in the long run. Dark chocolate, black fruit and huge body and mouth feel. Red, rocky soil with a Northern exposure. Recommended food: steak; anything braised; spicy food. $295
  4. **** 2003 and 2006 Bond Vecina – A powerful but balanced wine with plenty of black fruit and herbaceous aromas. Juicy. I preferred the ’06 which seemed to have more substance and body than the ’03 although it was very close. Bedrock with fine grained alluvial wash with an Eastern exposure. Recommended food: anything with tomatoes. $295
  5. *** 2004 and 2006 Bond Pluribus – More concentrated and powerful the Vecina, less so than the St. Eden but lacking the balance of either. Licorice, dark fruit and coffee with a spicy finish. Slight preference to the ’04 but probably just do to a bit more bottle age. Decomposed volcanic soil with a North and East exposure. Recommended food: lamb; game, cheese. $295

 

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