“The Mascot” began as a family wine, unnamed, unlabelled – a blend made for and poured at our own table. The components were of the highest pedigree, harvested from the younger vines of the Harlan family domain”
“The domain traces its beginning to the founding in 1984 of Harlan Estate, located in the western hills of Oakville and conceived as a “first growth of California.” In 1996, the family established BOND, a portfolio of “Grand Cru” vineyards whose wines showcase the range of expression of cabernet sauvignon across distinct geographical sites within the Napa Valley. As these varied sites were gradually replanted, many of the young vines contributed to my project. Yet, despite these distinguished origins, my early endeavour could only hint at the individual character embodied by each of our grands vins.
Even so, the wine showed charm and over time drew an affectionate following of close friends—so enthusiastic a following that we felt this intimate bottling deserved to have an identity of its own. The team took a little convincing, as the wine existed at first in very small quantities. But as more of the newer vines reached an age appropriate to warrant inclusion in the blend (typically 7 – 12 years), and once 500 cases had been produced, we persuaded our winegrowing team, led by Cory Empting, that a certain number of barrels could be set aside for this project on an annual basis.
From the start, the principal characteristic of The Mascot was vigor tempered by approachability. We decided to mature the wine a little longer, so that, upon release, it was delicious to drink and intensely vibrant, with the force and depth that enabled extended aging—a wine to enjoy viscerally and without excessive reverence. In short, the wonderful wine to share among friends and family.
A single common thread guided our choice of a name and label for this new creation: our shared passion for canines. The dogs associated with our team are a varied bunch, but all exhibit loyalty, energy, friendliness, perseverance, and heart”
Introduction to the Estate by Will Harlan