VECINA is coined from the Spanish word for neighbor. This is our endeavor with the property situated directly southeast of the BOND winery.
The beautifully terraced volcanic soil slopes of this property reside in Oakville's western foothills. The 11-acre site faces due east and is the recipient of cool morning sun. Vecina, which appeared with the 1999 vintage in the inaugural BOND release, is always powerful, intense and savory. Vecina's other hallmarks are blackberry fruit, with wild forest floor and mineral associated overtones.
SOIL: Bedrock overlain with fine grained alluvial wash.
ELEVATION: 221-330 feet
The 2009 Vecina emerges from the glass with dark red fruit, red berries, mint and flowers. It is fascinating to taste the 2009 next to the 2008, as it is a brighter, more floral wine, even though it has plenty of muscle and sheer size. The combination of elegance and power is striking. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2029.
Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (December 2011)
Good full ruby. Highly aromatic nose combines dark fruits, dried herbs, violet and forest floor spices. Explosively sweet and deep, with a spicy core of dark fruit flavors that fans out on the back half to saturate the palate. Finishes with strong but lush tannins and captivating violet lift. Remarkably horizontal for a cabernet-based wine from this vintage.
Steven Tanzer, International Wine Cellar (May/June 2011)
The 2008 Vecina is a huge, strapping wine bursting with dark fruit, leather, licorice, smoke, minerals and tar. It possesses striking mid-palate depth and more than enough fruit to stand up to the firm, imposing tannins. Iron, graphite, smoke and minerals are layered into the dark, brooding finish. This is an impressive showing. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.
Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (December 2011)
A perfect wine, the 2007 Vecina provides a prodigious display of blackberries, charcoal, black currants, burning embers and a La Mission-Haut-Brion-like hot rock/gravelly character. The most tannic as well as most concentrated and layered of the 2007s, this is a long-term, but utterly brilliant wine. In many ways it reminds me of the Harlan Estate itself given its prodigious build and potential for extended longevity. It merits 4-5 years of bottle age and should drink well for three decades thereafter.
Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (December 2010)
The 2006 Vecina has turned out even better than I expected last year. Graphite/lead pencil notes intermixed with hints of burning embers and charcoal, an opaque purple color, and sweet blackberry and roasted espresso notes are all present in this wine, which is masculine, muscular, tannic, but incredibly well-endowed and a potential candidate for 30 years of aging. This wine needs 4-5 years of cellaring and should last three decades.
Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (December 2009)
Deep ruby. Brooding, superripe, distinctly cabernet aromas of blackberry, cassis, violet and espresso. Sweet, densely packed and thick, with powerful flavors of crushed cassis and tobacco lifted by violet and licorice. Almost youthfully gritty today and in need of bottle aging to show its underlying shape. The huge tannins coat the front teeth and saturate the entire palate. Like a top Medoc wine on steroids.
Steven Tanzer, International Wine Cellar (May/June 2009)
The 2005 Vecina is also strutting its stuff. I can't say it showed better than it did last year, but this wine comes close to perfection for my palate. Made in a Graves-like style, it exhibits scents of roasted herbs, espresso, scorched rocks, and liquid minerals seamlessly integrated into a full-bodied, dense wine offering a cascade of black cherries and black currants. Built for the long haul, this powerful 2005 is soft enough to be drunk early, but it will not hit its stride for at least a decade, and should age for three decades thereafter.
Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (December 2008)
Good full ruby. Wild aromas of blackberry, blueberry, cassis, bitter chocolate, mocha and
violet. Then chewy and brooding in the mouth, with a youthfully medicinal black cherry flavor dominating. Aeration brought some explosive blackberry, mineral and graphite flavors, but today this highly concentrated wine is locked up by its powerful tannins. This one will need a solid decade of cellaring and may ultimately merit a significantly higher score. Last year I compared this wine to a Latour or Leoville-Las Cases, and that's the same impression I got this time around.
94 (+?) Points
Steven Tanzer, International Wine Cellar (May/June 2008)
The 2004 Vecina shares an opaque ruby/purple color, smells of wet steel, crushed rocks, spring flowers, forest floor, and plenty of cedar and chocolatey black currant and blackberry notes. A huge, spicy, complex nose is followed by a wine of impressive ripeness, full-bodied power, and a multi-dimensional mouthfeel with huge amounts of glycerin, fruit, and thickness. This is a connoisseur's treat, and despite the fruit-forward character of the vintage, this wine ideally needs 2–4 years of bottle age and should keep for 30–35+ years.
Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (December 2007)
Deep, full ruby. Black raspberry, licorice, roasted tobacco and mocha on the nose. Huge, broad and compellingly deep but not especially sweet or fruity. Surprisingly sappy acidity gives the wine shape and verve. The tannins here seem sweeter than those of the young 2005, and the palate-saturating finish displays great persistence.
Steven Tanzer, International Wine Cellar (May/June 2007)
More difficult to evaluate than its siblings, the 2003 Vecina, which comes from a site near
Harlan Estate, is a firm, tannic, backward wine displaying a gravelly, scorched earth, hot rock, black currant, licorice, and herb-scented bouquet. In the mouth, it is tight, rich, and ruggedly constructed with medium to full body as well as a boatload of tannin. Give it 4–5 years of cellaring, and consume it over the following 15.
Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (December 2006)
Good medium ruby color. Roasted black fruits and a suggestion of almost port-like ripeness on the nose. Lush, superripe and powerful, with superb density of flavor. With notes ranging from black olive to dark chocolate, this shows a wider range of ripeness than either the highly promising young 2004 or the remarkably lush and sweet 2002 (which I scored 95 on this latest occasion).
93 (+?) Points
Steven Tanzer, International Wine Cellar (May/June 2006)
The big, rich, brawny 2002 Vecina Proprietary Red is a primordial, tannic beast with a beef blood-like concentration, a huge, opaque purple color, and notes of scorched earth, blackberries, chocolate, camphor, roasted meats, and cassis. It's as if I took an aged porterhouse steak from Peter Luger's famed restaurant, put it in a Cuisinart, and aged it in new French oak. Give this amazing wine 5–6 years of bottle age, and drink it over the following 20–25 years.
Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (December 2005)
Smooth, rich and polished, with a seductive array of blackberry, currant and black cherry fruit that glides across the palate. This is a complex, deeply concentrated wine with tannins that are ripe and round, even silky for its age. Cabernet Sauvignon. Best from 2007 through 2015.
Jim Laube, Wine Spectator (November 15, 2005)
Reveals powerful espresso, mineral, black currant, and earthy characteristics presented in a full-bodied, Harlan-esque style with tremendous density, brilliant upside potential, and marvelous purity. Don't touch this beauty for at least five years. Anticipated maturity: 2010–2025.
Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (February 2005)
Wonderful purity of fruit, depth and richness, with layers of loamy currant, black cherry and
blackberry fruit that's dense and concentrated, finishing with a long, luxurious aftertaste and a wall of ripe, potent tannins. Best from 2006 through 2012.
James Laube, Wine Spectator (November 15, 2004)
Gobs of up-front, mocha-scented oak lead to a core of plush currant and blackberry fruit, and while there's no denying the strong presence of oak in this wine, it adds a wonderful dimension. To be released April 2004. Best from 2005 through 2012.
James Laube, Wine Spectator (November 15, 2003)
The dense, ruby/purple-colored 2000 Vecina offers up aromas of loamy earth, black fruits,
chocolate, and toasty wood. Medium-bodied, with beautiful fruit, excellent purity, and a long,
complex finish, it will drink well for 10–13 years.
Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (December 2003)
Wonderful complexity, richness and purity of flavor, with layers of herb, currant, earth and juicy wild berry turning to a touch of balsamic. It nonetheless offers loads of flavor and finishes with a long, intricate aftertaste. Best from 2005 through 2013.
James Laube, Wine Spectator (January 1, 2003)
The 1999 Vecina, a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon offering, exhibits aromas of graphite, tar, coffee, and creme de cassis. It is more austere and less charming and seductive than the 1999 "S". This powerful, muscular Cabernet will be at its best between 2006–2020.
90 – 92 Points
Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s The Wine Advocate (August 2002)