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Leading off the 2018s from barrel, the 2018 Melbury is spectacular juice, offering an already complex nose of cassis and black raspberry fruits intermixed with notes of dried flowers, graphite, chalky mineral, and spice. All about elegance and purity, it’s full-bodied, flawlessly balanced, and a great wine in the making.Jeb Dunnuck | 97-99 JDA barrel sample, the 2018 Melbury sports a deep garnet-purple and sashays out of the glass with bold, gregarious scents of fresh black cherries, mulberries and plums with hints of black currants, cinnamon toast and Sichuan pepper. Medium to full-bodied, elegant and refreshing, it is chock-full of crunchy fruit with compelling mineral accents coming through on the long finish.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96-98 RPThe 2018 Melbury is, as always, the first of the single-vineyard wines presented at Bond. The order is always the same: Melbury-Quella-St. Eden-Vecina and Pluribus. I suppose that makes sense from the standpoint of concentration and structure, but it is quite penalizing for the Melbury, a wine that is more about elegance than power or tannins. That said, the 2018 is not a shy wine, it certainly has plenty of depth. Freshness, energy and verve are the signatures in a Cabernet that is all about intangibles. Hints of dark red cherry, tobacco, rose petal, mint and sweet spice emerge over time. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.Antonio Galloni | 98 AGBrightness and purity to this, offering blueberries, fresh plums and peaches. It’s medium-to full-bodied with ripe, fine tannins Terra cotta and red fruit at the end. Dusty texture. Drink after 2023, but so good now.James Suckling | 98 JSPacked with dark blackberry and black currant preserves, this has nicely coiled energy, with sassafras and apple wood accents mixed with flashes of sweet bay leaf and tobacco. Subtle sanguine and black tea hints curl around the finish. Best from 2023 through 2037.Wine Spectator | 95 WS
Blackberry and blueberry aromas and flavors with some conifer and stone. Full-to medium-bodied with firm, dusty tannins that are fine and intense. Clarity to this wine. Try after 2024.James Suckling | 98 JSA barrel sample, the 2018 Quella has a deep garnet-purple color and opens with the most gorgeous perfume of violets, red and black plums, Morello cherries and cassis plus hints of iron ore and crushed rocks. The medium to full-bodied palate delivers lovely energy and tension, framed by fine-grained tannins and finishing with beautiful purity.Quella comes from a steep, southwest-facing vineyard in the eastern Vaca hillsides, just up from Joseph Phelps’s winery and Denali Estate.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95-97 RPThe 2018 Quella is rich, ample and beautifully resonant in the glass. There’s terrific depth here and tons of class. Blood orange, game, licorice, tobacco, lavender and dried herbs give the Quella beguiling aromatic presence to play off its muscular, brooding personality. The 2018 needs a few years to soften, but it is already compelling, to say the least.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGFirst made in 2006 and coming from more sandy, coarser soils, the 2018 Quella is incredibly exotic, with red and black fruits, wildflowers, sandalwood, candied violets, and flowery incense notes as well as medium to full body, a layered, ultra-fine, pure mouthfeel, silky tannins, and a great finish. It’s incredibly elegant and polished in 2018, with a chalky minerality as well as gorgeous complexity and length. It’s another 2018 that has plenty of up-front charm and accessibility yet is going to age gorgeously for 20-30 years.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDBoasts black currant, fig and loganberry fruit flavors that are tightly packed yet nicely expressive already, while the backdrop of signed alder, juniper, bay leaf and warm loam adds extra dimension and length through the finish. Not shy on power, but everything is in proportion. Best from 2024 through 2040.Wine Spectator | 96 WS
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