Prior to founding Harlan Estate, Bill Harlan bought Merryvale Vineyards (in 1986). During his time at Merryvale, Harlan and winemaker Bob Levy worked with a wide range of vineyards around the Napa Valley. Harlan sold his share in the business in 1996, with a new investor’s vision to increase volume at odds with his own. He and Levy established BOND a year later, a project that set out to highlight the quality and variety of individual sites in the region – some of which the duo had discovered while at Merryvale. While Harlan Estate was modelled on a Bordeaux First Growth, BOND is closer to Burgundy – with the ambition to bottle Grand Cru quality wines from single sites, albeit with Cabernet Sauvignon rather than Pinot Noir. The first vintage produced was 1997, however the first commercial release was the 1999, with two wines – Melbury and Vecina. The range has since grown to five wines, including St. Eden (first vintage 2001), Pluribus (2003) and Quella (2006). There is also a second wine (introduced from the 1999 vintage) called The Matriarch, which is a blend of fruit from all the vineyards. Production is tiny, with around 450-600 cases of each wine made each year. The BOND name celebrates the relationship between winemakers and growers, and is also Harlan’s mother’s maiden name. The labels are designed to look like old bank, or bond, notes. Since their initial release, the BOND wines have garnered significant praise from the critics and regularly receive 100-point scores from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. These age-worthy expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon sit amongst the region’s elite and are some of the world’s most collected. The Harlan stable also includes Promontory Estate.
Bill Harlan and Bob Levy – the Founder and Director of Winegrowing at Harlan Estate – founded BOND in 1997. The project produces some of Napa’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon, celebrating the diversity and quality of individual vineyards in the region.
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