So much subtle black currant character with hints of roses and lilacs. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and fabulous length. It goes on for minutes. Wonderful to drink from the beginning but better in 2019.
The brilliant 2013 Melbury ratchets up the level of extract, with an opaque purple color, dense blueberry liqueur-like notes along with white flowers, licorice, and camphor followed by a full-bodied, incredibly seamless, concentrated, multidimensional wine. With its amazing depth and richness, while accessible now, it probably won’t hit its stride for another 5-7 years and last 30-35. The five separate single vineyards that Bill Harlan has under long-term contract continue to perform at first growth quality levels. They generate between 500 and 600 cases of these single-vineyard wines that all represent distinctive and separate micro-climates of Napa Valley. The culled out barrels that don’t make the cut are blended together for a wine called Matriarch, which in itself is a terrific offering. Last year I touted the brilliance and drama of the 2012s, which are strikingly beautiful, and the otherworldly 2013s, but now we have the fruit-forward and luscious 2014s, and although I didn’t taste them, I suspect the 2015s will reach a new qualitative pinnacle for this extraordinary visionary project of Bill Harlan and his winemaking team, led by Bob Levy. (RP)
One of the many highlights in this tasting, the 2013 Melbury is fabulous. All the Melbury signatures of place - intense red fruit and floral notes in particular - are very much in evidence. There are more than enough supporting tannins and acidity in the background to ensure many years of exceptional drinking. This is a dazzling set of wines from BOND and the team headed by Cory Empting. The 2014s continue to develop positively. I remember tasting those wines from barrel, before they were racked and being impressed by the energy of the wines. Today, the 2014s have all of that energy, plus striking finesse. The malos were quite long in 2014, but today, the wines are very complete. The 2013s are just as impressive, or more, than they were from barrel. Readers will find plenty of vintage 2013 magic in these exceptionally beautiful, vivid Napa Valley Cabernets. (AG)
Saturated red-ruby. Sexy floral lift to the pure, highly nuanced aromas of cherry, redcurrant, plum and tobacco, with complicating notes of leather and earth. Plush and fine-grained; elegantly styled but with an intriguing element of wildness and a lightly medicinal aspect. Higher-pitched in the mouth than the 2014 and yet there's an element of silkiness here that reminded me of Merlot. Finishes with substantial dusty, building tannins but thorough ripeness. At once powerful and elegant, this compelling midweight finishes with substantial dusty, building tannins and an impression of perfect ripeness. (ST) 97+
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