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California Wines

California Wines

California Wines

California Wines

With a history of wine production that dates back to the 18th century, California currently sits as one of the world’s most prolific and reputable wine regions. With an area as vast as California, you can expect a colorful collage of terroir profiles, a series of microclimates, and micro-environments that give the wine a unique, memorable appeal. The region’s produce is far from homogenized in that sense, and it would take you countless hours to sample all of it.

While the region boasts scars from the Prohibition era, it went through what can only be described as a viticultural Renaissance sometime after the 1960s. At that point, California went from a port-style, sweet wine region to a versatile and compelling competitor on the world market. Today, no matter which way your taste in wine leans, you can find a new favorite producer among California’s most talented.

Notable sub-regions include legendary names like Napa Valley and Sonoma County, places that any wine lover worth their salt would die to visit. California’s quintessential warm climate allows for incredibly ripe fruit expressions, a style that provides a stark contrast to Old World-inspired, earthy classics. Even where inspiration was clearly taken from staple French appellations, Californian winemakers put their own unique spin on the wine, making it feel like a unique, standalone piece, rather than a derivative.

A New World region rises to join its viticultural forebears. Its meteoric rise to fame has been nothing short of stunning, and today California can compete with the world’s most prominent wine regions.

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2006 bond vineyards melbury California Red

The 2006 Melbury has a dense plum/purple color and a big, sweet, scorched earth, crème de cassis and blueberry nose, with hints of charcoal, spice box, and graphite. Rich, well-made, and showing exceptionally well from bottle, it is a wine that will certainly evolve for 25 or more years.Robert Parker | 94 RPThe 2006 Melbury is dark, chewy and a bit rough around the edges. Even so, it has aged well and retains enough freshness to drink well for another decade or more. Mocha, plum, black cherry and spice infuse the super-expressive finish.Vinous Media | 94 VMThis is very perfumed with currants and flowers. I love the nose. Very balanced and deep full bodied wine with a long silky finish. I really like the texture and finesse to this. Very fascinating. Better in a year or two. 14+24+23+33. Find the wineJames Suckling | 94 JSStarts with a beautiful ruby color that’s so pretty and gleaming. Appeals right away for its rich, attractive sour cherry candy, vanilla and anise aromas and flavors that are well-integrated with smoky oak. The tannins are firm, but ultra-refined, and the finish is entirely dry. A well-made, elegant wine of place that needs time. 2012–2018.Wine Enthusiast | 93 WEI had a very hard time getting a firm read on any of the 2006 bottlings from Bond Estates and was under the distinct impression that I was not favorably impressed by the style of wines here, until I tasted the 2005s, which really had snapped nicely into focus, had gobbled up the lion’s share of their new wood and showed truly excellent quality in their more modern styles. So with the 2006 Melbury (and this is true for all of the other 2006s from Bond), please take into account that the wine was still more than a tad grumpy and adolescent when I tasted it and is very likely to come in at the high range of my range if it evolves as positively as its 2005 counterparts. The nose today on the ’06 Melbury is quite intriguing in its mix of black raspberries, plums, tobacco, chocolate, allspice and spicy new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and shows a fair bit of complexity on the attack, but with rather aggressive, uncovered oak tannins currently dominating the slightly green (from wood?) finish. There is excellent length and grip here behind the wood tannins, and one assumes that there is plenty of stuffing to eventually carry the wood, but for now, the wood tannins make this wine pretty disagreeable to drink and cellaring is emphatically required. (Drink between 2016 - 2035)John Gilman | 89-92 JGFrom the Sloson Vineyard on the east side of Lake Hennessy, these vines are cooled by the lake and grow in dense clay. They produced a big, juicy red in 2006, a soft, luscious wine that feels dense and full. This comes across as warmer and riper than Bond’s other single-vineyard releases, a more immediate pleasure for drinking over the next several years.Wine & Spirits Magazine | 91 W&S

As low as $489.00
2007 Bond Vineyards Quella

The 2007 Quella performed slightly better than I predicted last year. A magical combination of blueberry liqueur intermixed with crushed rock, spring flowers (violets?), earth, pen ink and burning ember leads to a full-bodied, majestically rich wine with a multilayered texture, silky tannins and a phenomenally long finish of over 50 seconds. This sensational 2007 should drink well for 25-30+ years.Robert Parker | 97 RPThis is decadent. Layers and layers of porcini mushrooms, wet forest floor, and dark fruits. Full bodied, powerful, with everything going for it. This needs at least fiave years to show its best. Pull the cork after 2015. 15+25+24+33. Find the wineJames Suckling | 97 JSVoluptuous and racy in the glass, with terrific freshness, the 2007 Quella has it all. Raspberry jam, blood orange and sweet floral notes add brightness throughout. Silky, ripe and alluring, the 2007 is one of the many standouts in this vintage. The 2007 drinks well now but it will hold for another 10-15 years.Vinous Media | 96 VMA tremendous effort, firm, intense, dense and concentrated, offering a wonderful mix of mineral, fresh earth, dried currant and herb, with touches of tobacco and cedar. Full-bodied, yet at points supple given its youth, but the finish sails on and on. To be released spring 2011. Best from 2013 through 2024. 476 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WSThis is Bond’s second vintage of Quella, from a vineyard in the eastern hills of Napa Valley. The wine’s red cherry fruit has elasticity and intriguing meatiness, though for now it’s completely cloaked in oak. The wood adds a French roast coffee spice rather than sweetness, the tannins mouthcoating and rich. This finishes with elegance and should reward several years of cellar time.Wine Enthusiast | 92 WE

As low as $549.00
2008 bond vineyards pluribus California Red

The 2008 Pluribus is a gorgeous wine laced with black fruit, menthol, minerals, spices and licorice. It shows fabulous density and richness through to the finish. This is a very typical Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95 RPThe 2008 Pluribus is the most delicate of the Bond 2008s. Hints of pine, scorched earth, toast and licorice give the wine many of its aromatic signatures. Today, the 2008 is deceptively understated. My impression is that the best is yet to come.Vinous Media | 95 VMOffers a mix of mocha, loamy earth, espresso, dried currant, blueberry, wild berry and cedary sage-charcoal notes. Full-bodied and drying, complex and concentrated. Best from 2012 through 2022. 487 cases made.Wine Spectator | 93 WSEucalyptus and mint and spices with dark fruits. Hints of wood too. Full-bodied, with a solid core of fruit. Thick and dense. Very soft and juicy. Very approachable. This has a little more Merlot than normal, making it very approachable.James Suckling | 92 JSGrown at a steep, seven-acre vineyard at 1,100 feet on Spring Mountain, Pluribus shows the power and extract of the 2008 vintage. It’s all about structure until the wine takes on enough air, beginning to show floral notes and deep blueberry-scented fruit. There’s a dark, classical Napa mountain red here, needing a decade in the cellar to reveal itself more completely.Wine & Spirits | 91 W&S

As low as $525.00
2008 bond vineyards quella California Red

Full ruby-red color. Very ripe aromas of raspberry, licorice and menthol; this too struck me as claret-like. Sweet and refined in the mouth, already showing superb harmony to its raspberry, redcurrant and graphite flavors. Finishes with suave tannins and outstanding length. Like the Melbury, this seems balanced to give early pleasure but should have no trouble lasting for 15 to 20 years in bottle. (Incidentally, pHs here were average in 2008 but acids a bit higher, said director of winegrowing Bob Levy, who offered the opinion that 2008 was a bit like 2005 in style).Vinous Media | 94 VMFirm and structured, with loamy earth, mocha and espresso, this is ripe and lively, with currant, blueberry and wild berry notes that are pleasingly subtle and detailed. Even more expansive and syrupy on the finish. Best from 2012 through 2022. 502 cases made.Wine Spectator | 94 WSThis is the third vintage from this site. Licorice and flowers and lavender aromas. Full body, with super velvety tannins and a medium finish. Lovely wood on the finish. Sandalwood undertone. Give it a year or two to come together more.James Suckling | 93 JSThe 2008 Quella is a dark, brooding wine loaded with super-ripe dark black fruit, smoke, tar and licorice. It is a seriously intense wine that will require bottle age. This is an especially authoritative wine from Bond. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2028.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RP

As low as $485.00
2009 bond vineyards pluribus California Red

The 2009 Proprietary Blend Pluribus boasts stunning concentration, depth and power. Tar, incense, graphite, plums and grilled herbs all flow from this dark, sumptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. The balance of fruit, tannin and acidity is masterful. The Pluribus is always the most intense of the BOND wines. It can at times be a bit of a brute, but the 2009 is as refined as it gets. There is no shortage of class and integrity here. Hints of smoke, tar and juniper berries add the final layers of complexity. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2039.I have been excited about the BOND 2009s since I first tasted them 18 months ago. My enthusiasm for those wines is surpassed only by the 2010s. The 2009s are sexy, radiant and impeccably polished, while the 2010s are more inward, structured and brooding in style. It is impossible not to compare BOND to Bill Harlan’s Harlan Estate. Although I am told the approach to farming and picking is identical in all the vineyards both estates look after, my sense is that the BOND wines are a little more vibrant than Harlan Estate, which tends to occupy a spot a little further out on the ripeness spectrum. It’s hard to know what more there is to say about BOND. These are simply some of the most utterly magnificent wines I have ever tasted, and a true testament that terroir not only exists in Napa Valley, but that these are some of the most privileged sites for making wine anywhere in the world. In my opinion, in top vintages, the St. Eden, which emerges from the red soils of Oakville, and the Vecina, from Vine Hill Ranch, are two of the greatest wines in Napa Valley.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPReaders searching for a Pluribus to drink now will find much to admire in the 2009. Beautifully resonant on the palate, the 2009 possesses striking depth and nuance. Time in the glass seems to bring out the wine’s natural richness and generous, inviting texture.Antonio Galloni | 96 AGAn amazing wine, complex and elegant, with a pure, rich, spicy mix of dark berry, plum and black cherry flavors. Supple and harmonious, elegant and persistent. Drink now through 2028. 420 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WS

As low as $795.00
2012 bond vineyards quella California Red

The 2012 Quella (from a steep 9-acre vineyard in the eastern Vaca hillsides) has an opaque purple color, a gorgeous nose of white flowers, sweet blackberry and cassis fruit, and a touch of vanilla and graphite. Full-bodied, like its siblings, with great fruit extract, terrific purity and richness, and high but velvety tannins, this wine should also benefit from another 3-5 years of cellaring and keep for 30+ years.Robert Parker | 98 RPLots of hot stone and slate on the nose with flowers. Dark berries too. Full body, dense mouthfeel. It lasts a long time with a salty, pomace undertone. Tight and muscular. Better in 2018.James Suckling | 97 JSSoft and caressing, the 2012 Quella is quite expressive today. Dark cherry, cedar, tobacco, smoke, licorice, incense and rose petal, along with soft silky contours, give the wine its distinct personality. Bright red stone fruit and lifted floral notes convey an impression of total sensuality. The 2012 is very pretty, but like so many wines in this vintage, it is a bit one-dimensional, especially when compared to some of the true standouts in this range.Vinous Media | 94 VM

As low as $499.00

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