|94 RP - 2005 Bond Melbury Cabernet - 94 pts - 750ml The 2005 Melbury offers lovely aromas of cedar, creme de cassis, licorice, and smoked/roasted herbs as well as good underlying acidity, full-bodied power, and stunning concentration, but also unmistakable elegance and harmony. While these are all big wines, there is an attractive European tannic profile to the 2005 Melbury. Although accessible now, 3-5 years of bottle age will be beneficial, and it should improve for 20-25 years. RP Bond is the extraordinary project of Harlan Estateâ€™s proprietor, Bill Harlan. In essence, what he does along with his winemaker, Bob Levy, and his team, is to identify outstanding vineyard sites in specific viticultural regions of Napa Valley, sign the owners to long-term (20 years) leases, and produce essentially 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines from these sites. As I have written in the past, all of these offerings represent world-class Cabernet Sauvignons from Napa meant to endure 30 or more years of cellaring should one have the patience to wait that long. There are five separate vineyard sites in the Bond portfolio. Melbury comes off steep slopes just north of Lake Hennessy, east of Rutherford. It is a 7-acre hillside vineyard planted in compressed clay and sedimentary soils. The Pluribus (which I have mistakenly referred to as E Pluribus in past reviews) comes from a high elevation (over 1,000 feet) site on Spring Mountain on the west side of Napa Valley. The northern-most parcel in the Bond portfolio, it is a 7-acre vineyard planted in pure tufa volcanic bedrock. The most southernly situated vineyard is Vecina, which is the nearby neighbor of Harlan Estate. These are western hillsides of Napa Valley overlooking the Oakville Corridor to the north and Yountville to the south. It is an 11-acre parcel planted at an elevation of 200-330 feet. St. Eden is the only valley floor vineyard. It is composed of 11 acres just north of the Oakville Crossroad planted in gentle foothills. The Quella vineyard is a 9 acre site in the eastern foothills of St. Helena planted on an old alluvial riverbed of cobble and rocks intermixed with the white tufa soils of volcanic origin. All the 2007s have been bottled after receiving essentially the same time in barrel, usually in excess of two years (the same as the Harlan Estate cuvee). The 2008s were all tasted from barrel.