"The Mascot" started as a family wine, no name, no label - a blend made for and poured at our table. The components were from the highest pedigree harvested from the younger vines of the Harlan family estate. The preserve traces its origins to the 1984 creation of Harlan Estate, located in the western hills of Oakville and conceived as a "California's first growth." In 1996, the family founded BOND, a portfolio of "Grand Cru" vineyards whose wines showcase the range of expression of cabernet sauvignon in various geographic locations in the Napa Valley. Promontory, whose land the family acquired in 2008, is run by the second generation of the family and represents a 21st century approach to viticulture.
Over time, the wine attracted an affectionate following of close friends - such an enthusiastic following that they felt this intimate bottling deserved its own identity. very small-scale at first as the wine initially existed in very small quantities. But as more of the newer vines reached an age suitable for inclusion in the blend (usually 7 - 12 years) after 500 cases were produced by Harlan's winemaking team and led by Cory Empting, they became convinced that a a certain number of barrels can be reserved annually for this project. From the start, The Mascot's main feature was strength tempered by approachability. They have decided to age the wine a little longer so that on release it is delightful to drink and intensely lively, with the power and depth that allow for longer aging - a wine to be enjoyed viscerally and without excessive reverence.
A single common thread guided our choice of a name and label for this new creation: our shared passion for dogs. The dogs that make up our team are a varied bunch, but they all show loyalty, energy, friendliness, perseverance and heart. They further found inspiration in two additional sources. The first was The Bar Sinister, published in 1903, by Richard Harding Davis, a friend of Theodore Roosevelt and one of America's leading war correspondents, who reported from the front lines during the Boer War, the Spanish-American War, and World War I. His classic story about a white English bull terrier named Kid held a special place in our upbringing; the copy of the first edition that ever sat on the shelves of Wil Harlan's grandparents' library. Kid's indomitable spirit and nobility lead him through hard times on the streets of Montreal to glory as a blue ribbon winner in Long Island. But above all, family loyalty and a passion for justice fuel his struggle to survive and ultimately secure his redemption.
The 2nd inspiration and source of The Mascot's label - came from the Harlan family's collection of favorite engravings. The image was of a white English bull terrier named Prince that the Farmers Deposit National Bank of Pittsburgh commissioned to illustrate its share certificates. One version of Prince's career suggests that he also possessed a distinguished lineage, but instead of showing it off, his owner, the president of the bank, kept him in the flagship family. Prince lived at the bank and stood guard there, enthusiastically greeting customers and employees. He also served as the mascot of the local baseball, football and hockey teams that the bank sponsored and, as legend has it, brought victory to his teammates by hitting a long fly on the diamond. They consider Prince and Kid to be blood brothers, related in their attitudes of integrity, conviction and loyalty.
Both four-legged figures remind us that true honor does not lie in the enduring courage and generosity of spirit that open new doors of understanding - for ourselves and for others. In keeping with this belief (and with Prince's penchant for a warm welcome), The Mascot continues to introduce newcomers to the deep and cozy delights of Napa Valley Cabernet, opening the door to the grands vins of the family whose still deeper roots await.