Melbury

Melbury Label

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MELBURY originates from a spectacular property on the slopes north of Lake Hennessey, in the hills east of Rutherford.

Melbury Label

The name Melbury is in homage to an historic area in London, where the estate owners reside much of the year. Since its debut with the 1999 vintage, the consistent hallmarks of Melbury have been plush red fruits (currants, bing cherries), redolent with spice and the scent of violets. Elegance and a supple texture define the structure of this wine. The particular exposition of this rocky 7-acre hillside vineyard is southerly overlooking Lake Hennessey, allowing the vines to capture the morning sun yet moderating afternoon temperatures.

SOIL: Ancient sedimentary soil with compressed clay. Eastern and Southeastern Exposure.

ELEVATION: 348-522 feet


Accolades

2013

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The 2013 Melbury displays bluer fruits than the 2012, more charcoal, violets, possibly slightly higher acid and more tannin, but also even more extract and richness (which is not easy). It is a very structured, backward, primordial wine with enormous upside potential, but patience will be required. This wine will need 5-10 years of bottle age and will drink well for 40-50 years.

(96-98) Points

Robert M. Parker Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (October 2015)

2012

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The 2012 Melbury opens with exquisite floral aromatics and bright, red-fleshed fruit. Lithe and silky on the palate, with lovely overall precision, the Melbury is one of the more finessed wines in the BOND range. I imagine the 2012 will reward readers with a long and wide drinking window of pure pleasure. Some of the wines in the range are more attention grabbing. The Melbury draws the taster in with its seductive aromatics and sublime balance. What a gorgeous wine the 2012 has become.

 

96 Points

Antonio Galloni, vinous (October 2015)

2011

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Black ruby-red. Ripe aromas of black raspberry, truffle and licorice. Sweet and silky in the middle but at the same time juicy and minerally, showing broad, suave flavors of black plum, coffee and mocha. Tannins start a little edgy but smooth out in the glass. Not yet hugely complex but then the 2011 BOND wines went into bottle just a few weeks prior to my March visit. Production of these wines was very low in 2011 owing to strict selection, and alcohol levels are in the range of 14.1% to 14.4%, or a bit lower than in recent years.

93 Points

Stephen Tanzer (May 2014)

2010

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From a higher site in the Pritchard Hill area, the 2010 Melbury appears to be prodigious, but is currently extremely backward. My notes indicate it should be forgotten for 7-10 years. With coaxing, this structured 2010 offers up aromas of blueberry liqueur, black currants, charcoal and spring flowers. It possesses gorgeous purity and remarkable incremental richness, but it is quite brooding and backward. Everything it needs for a great future is present, but patience will definitely be required. 

98+ Points

Robert M. Parker Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (October 2013)


The 2010 Melbury is rich, explosive and just as captivating as it was from barrel. Dark red cherry, plum, mocha, sweet spices and leather explode from the glass in a rich full-bodied wine loaded with intensity, class and pedigree. This is a great 2010 and a great Melbury. The tannins are quite firm, but there is more than enough fruit to provide balance.

97 Points

Antonio Galloni, vinous (November 2013)

2009

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The estate’s 2009 Proprietary Blend Melbury presents an intriguing combination of pure sensuality in its aromas and flavors, but backed up by serious tannins. Dark raspberry jam, flowers, sweet spices and crushed rocks all come to life in this deeply expressive, resonant wine. Sweet floral notes reappear on the finish, adding lift and perfume. In 2009, the Melbury is dazzling. It is also one of the more delicate wines in the lineup Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029. 

94 Points

Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (December 2012)

2008

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The 2008 Melbury flows across the palate with layers of dark sensual fruit, spices, licorice, leather and tobacco. Clean veins of minerality frame the fruit beautifully through to the finish. Floral notes add an element of brightness on the close. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2023. 

(91-93) Points

Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (December 2011)


Good deep red. Dark raspberry, redcurrant, licorice, tobacco and minerals on the nose. Juicy, bright and supple, with a distinctly airy texture and lovely inner-mouth verve. Not especially large-scaled but pliant, classy and light on its feet. Aromatic and claret-like wine, with firm but ripe tannins and noteworthy length.

93 Points

Steven Tanzer, International Wine Cellar (May/June 2011)

2007

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Out of bottle, the 2007 Melbury is even more impressive than it was from barrel. Aromas of cedarwood, barbecue spice, licorice, spring flowers, black currants and sweet kirsch jump from the glass of this dense purple-colored wine. A full-bodied texture, wonderful opulence, sweet velvety tannins and an extraordinary integration of all its component parts make for a prodigious Cabernet Sauvignon to drink over the next 25-30+ years.

97 Points

Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (December 2010)

2006

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Good deep ruby-red. Vibrant aromas of raspberry, red cherry, mocha and tobacco, enlivened by menthol and a distinctly rocky element. Very ripe but juicy and tightly coiled today, showing terrific energy but less easy sweetness and flesh than the Matriarch. But this is more sharply delineated and long, finishing with subtle suggestions of brown spices, tobacco and licorice. Built for a slow evolution in bottle.

93 Points

Steven Tanzer, International Wine Cellar (May/June 2009)


The 2006 Melbury has a dense plum/purple color and a big, sweet, scorched earth, creme de cassis and blueberry nose, with hints of charcoal, spice box, and graphite. Rich, well-made, and showing exceptionally well from bottle, it is a wine that will certainly evolve for 25 or more years.

94 Points

Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (December 2009)

2005

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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.

94 Points

Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (December 2008)


Very sexy nose combines black raspberry, graphite, melted tar and smoke, plus a whiff of sweet butter. Lush, fleshy and sweet, with perfectly integrated, ripe acidity framing and lifting the middle palate. As bright as this is, the 2005 vintage has also brought uncommon breadth and sweetness.

94 (+?) Points

Steven Tanzer, International Wine Cellar (May/June 2008)

2004

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Readers looking for a fruit-forward vintage should check out the 2004 Melbury. A sensational wine with an inky bluish/purple color, fabulous blueberry and blackberry fruit with hints of lead pencil, acacia flower, pain grille, and spice, the tannins are supple and the wine exuberant, flamboyant, ripe, rich, and long. This is sensational stuff that can be drunk now or cellared for 20–25 years.

95 Points

Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (December 2007)

2003

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The 2003 Melbury comes from a slopeside site on the northern side of Lake Hennessey, opposite the Rutherford valley floor. Winemaker Bob Levy compares the 2003 to the 2006 because of the wet winter and spring and the summer’s heat spikes. A brilliant effort from sedimentary soil with rocks over compacted clay, it is a gorgeous wine offering raspberry, black currant, spring flower and blueberry characteristics along with a dense purple color, a full-bodied, multilayered mouthfeel and sweet tannin. This stunningly rich hillside Cabernet Sauvignon should reach full maturity in 4-5 years and keep for 15-20 years thereafter.

97 Points

Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (June 2013)


Deep ruby-red. Exotic aromas of black raspberry, mocha and caramel. Sweet, lush flavors of cherry and menthol. Wonderfully pliant and fleshy for a 2003. Finishes firmly tannic and long, with compelling sweetness.

93 (+?) Points

Steven Tanzer, International Wine Cellar (May/June 2006)

2002

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The 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Melbury, which comes from a hillside vineyard site near Lake Hennessey, is showing even better than it did in its youth. Probably years away from full maturity, the wine has an extraordinary aromatic profile of smoky meats intermixed with blackberry, creme de cassis, charcoal, lead pencil shavings and espresso. Dense, opulent and full-bodied, with terrific fruit, this is a showcase style of vintage for a wine of such great ripeness and massive intensity. This extraordinary effort displays oodles of glycerin and fabulous purity, while the oak has been completely absorbed. The cooler hillside climate of blue fruits and spring flowers is also present as the wine aerates in the glass. This wine has at least another 15-30 years of potential ahead of it.

100 Points

Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (June 2012)

2001

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Dark, rich and plush, with a syrupy, concentrated core of currant, plum and blackberry fruit that's sharply defined, with generous mocha-scented oak, mixing power with restraint and elegance with finesse. To be released in April 2005. Best from 2006 through 2013. 700 cases made.

93 Points

James Laube, Wine Spectator (October 15, 2004)


The 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Melbury (a dead ringer for Pauillac) has an opaque blue/purple color and an extraordinarily sweet nose of charcoal, lead pencil shavings, cedar wood, black currants, licorice and spice box. Full-bodied, with great intensity, purity and texture, this is a wonderfully dense, full-throttle wine that is still an adolescent and likely to stay one for at least another 5-7 years. Look for it to age gracefully well past 20-30+ years. 

98+ Points

Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (June 2011)

2000

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The [wine] reveals surprising sweetness as well as gloriously fat, black cherry and cassis notes in its fruit-driven bouquet. Cedar and spice box notes are reminiscent of a top-notch Pauillac. It is rich, textured, and full-bodied.  Overall it is an impressive effort! Anticipated maturity: now-2016.

(91-93) Points

Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (August 2002)


Deliciously complex, rich and polished, with layers of mocha-scented oak, ripe black cherry, blackberry and spice, offering nuances of cedar, chocolate and vanilla, and finishing with ripe, integrated tannins. To be released April 2004. Best from 2005 through 2012; 675 cases made.

94 Points

James Laube, Wine Spectator (November 15, 2003)

1999

Melbury
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While a name has not yet been determined, the following wine emanates from a single vineyard overlooking Lake Hennessey. The [wine] is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. This sensational effort boasts a Pauillac-like bouquet of cedarwood, sweet cassis, minerals, dried herbs, and tobacco. As the wine sits in the glass, aromas of chocolate also emerge. The wine is powerful yet elegant, rich and concentrated yet light on its feet. This is a provocative, supple-textured, impressive wine. It should drink well for 15 – 20 years.

91 Points

Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (August 2002)