BOND: A portfolio of wines that are diverse in their geographic representation and 'Grand Cru' in quality, all under the umbrella of one philosophy, one team, one mark.
97 Points - Vinous
The 2018 St. Eden is impressive. Dense and powerful in the glass, the 2018 is done in a style that emphasizes freshness and vibrancy, reflecting a generational transition in all of these wines that is most apparent here. Dark fruit, liquorice, mocha, spice and chocolate begin to emerge with time, but the St. Eden is much less forthcoming than in the past. In fact, the 2018 might very well be the most reticent St. Eden I have ever tasted. That energy will serve it well in the cellar. Those accustomed to the voluptuous, lush St. Edens of the past will not find that in the 2018. As much as the style has changed in this wine, I am not surprised to see that. A complete vertical of the Bond wines a few years ago showed the St. Eden to have the most condensed arc of peak drinkability of the Bond wines.
The 2018 Bond Cabernets are phenomenal. Strong site expression, classic Napa Valley richness and vibrancy make these some of the most impressive and compelling wines of the vintage. If forced to choose, I would pick the Melbury and Pluribus as the most complete wines in the range, partly because I feel those wines don't always get their due. The 2019s, which I tasted from barrel, are a bit richer than the 2018s, but perhaps with a bit less delineation. That will be clearer once the wines are in bottle. For now, the 2018s are pretty magical. Winemaker Cory Empting and his team certainly got the best out of the year. That might seem obvious today in looking over these reviews, but the 2018s have really come together since I first tasted them in the spring of 2019, when the wines were shy, awkward adolescents.