Bond Vecina 2016
The vertical structure of Vecina does not impose but draws you in with a noble calm. The wine’s nuance is often immured within its monolithic structure, yet this year, nature has rendered the full spectrum of fruit, herbal, and mineral aromas. Whether this generosity represents a rare glimpse of the softer side of this site or the future expression of these old vines, time alone will tell.
Vecina vineyard is located in the western foothills of Oakville, just to the south-east of the winery (up on Oakville Grade). Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Vecina slips sensuously out of the glass with gorgeous black cherries, kirsch, wild blueberries and blackcurrant pastilles notes plus suggestions of bouquet garni, pencil lead, tilled earth and underbrush. Full-bodied, taut and packed with ripe, expressive, exquisitely accented black and blue fruits, it has loads of earthy sparks and a compelling fine-grained nature to the firm texture, finishing long and layered. This bright, energetic, incredibly nuanced beauty is built like a brick house and, while approachable in youth, is easily a 50-year wine. I therefore urge readers to wait at least 5-7 years before opening to allow for the myriad of subtle nuances to emerge and offer that "WOW" experience that will reward patience.
The 2016 Vecina got a few expletives in my notes, and it's one of the more powerful, structured, inward wines in the lineup. From a site on the western side of the appellation (not far from Harlan Estate), its deep purple color is followed by stunning notes of crushed rocks, violets, chocolate, graphite, and cold steel. It's an incredible, insanely good Cabernet that's going to benefit from a decade of bottle age and keep for 30 years or more.
The 2016 Vecina is the most tannic and brooding of the wines, as it so often is. Swaths of tannin wrap around a core of black cherry, chocolate, new leather, licorice, spice and menthol. I would cellar the 2016 for at least few years to shed some of its youthful bombastic intensity. There is certainly no shortage of character or complexity. As always, Vecina emerges from choice parcels within Vine Hill Ranch.