Saturated bright ruby. Black fruits, mocha and a whiff of truffle on the rather clenched, slightly porty nose. Plush, sweet and large-scaled, but with almost surprising vinosity giving shape to the flavors of dark berries, coffee, mocha and iron. A huge wine with outstanding palate-staining persistence. The major tannins spread out to saturate every square millimeter of the palate. (ST)
The 2006 E Pluribus, like all of these Cabernet Sauvignons, is youthful, with an opaque purple color and a big, sweet nose of blueberry liqueur intermixed with spring flowers and wet rocks. Full-bodied, powerful, and backward, with sweet tannin but formidable structure, this wine needs to be cellared for 4-5 years and drunk over the following 25 years. (RP)
Bill Harlan started the Bond project "to establish a stable of grand crus," as he describes it. Paul Roberts, formerly of The French Laundry, is general manager, the counterpart of Don Weaver, who has worked with Harlan for the past 25 years. We tasted five single-vineyard wines from Bond for this issue, all made the same way, each expressing a different site in the Napa Valley. Pluribus grows at the Oberndorf Vineyard, 900 feet up Spring Mountain, the vines planted in 2000 on fractured volcanic soil. It's a powerful, black and tannic wine in 2006 (Roberts describes it as the Château Montrose of Bond's stable). With air, the masculine arrogance of the tannin slowly relents, turning from savory black olive toward cassis and currant. What's remarkable about the wine is its penetrating depth, a deep well of flavor in the glass. Its richness is another compelling factor: It comes directly from the structure, so rather than feeling heavy, the wine feels complete and fresh.
*Cellar Selection* Very dark, dramatic, opulent, but young. Opens with brooding aromas of black currants, cassis and spices, and turns dense in tannins in the mouth. Deeply refined, concentrated, intense, bone dry. A classic Napa wine in every sense, and one in need of extended cellaring.
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