One of the iconic Napa wineries, I had a great opportunity to do a 3 year vertical tasting at Opus last Monday, ironically during the eclipse. Needless to say, I did not have my shades on. Opus One began in 1979 as a partnership between Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild and became the first ultra-premium California wine to be sold in France and Internationally. Opus produces only one wine and a second wine (Overature) – both of which are typically a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot.
Their estate includes part of the famed To-Kalon Vineyard, as well as other Oakville vineyards. Head winemaker Michael Silacci crafts an extraordinary wine. During the tasting I found that the Napa character and old world restraint was evident in the past three vintages. All three were showing marvelously, although the new release, the 2014 Opus One (WWB, 98) is a tannic monster of a wine that will need time in the bottle to settle. Both the 2012 and 2013 Opus One Red Wines neared perfection in the bottle. They were stunning releases that were intoxicating and impossible to resist. Learn more about this historic estate at https://www.opusonewinery.com Here are the last three compelling releases by Opus One.
2012 Opus One Red Wine- This deep hued wine begins with beautiful aromatics of sweet pipe tobacco, leather, creme de cassis, anise and Turkish coffee. While dense and penetrating there is a feminine quality to these aromas. The plus texture is gorgeous. This has wonderful tension and a stunning mouthfeel. Creme de cassis, anise, Turkish coffee and milk chocolate flavors impress. This is a stunner byOpus One. This is intense and elegant Napa at its best. If enjoying young, be sure to give this a two plus hour decant. Drink 2017-2040- 99
2013 Opus One Red Wine- The wine is a blend of 79% Cabernet with the remainder 7% Cabernet Franc, 6% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot and 2% Malbec and This has a slightly darker core than the 2012 bottling. Showing off a decadent dark color, this stunning wine begins with aromatics of This has more of a masculine edge on the aromas, showing graphite, dark chocolate, creme de cassis and coffee grounds. The mouthfeel and texture off this wine is downright ethereal as the dark fruits glides alongside the mid-palate. Mocha, tar, anise, creme de cassis and spice box flavors are deep and penetrating. This stunning hedonistic monster wine really needs at least another year one bottle age before enjoying. Drink 2018-2042- 99
2014 Opus One Red Wine- The 2014 Opus One Red Wine is another monumental wine by this historic estate. This stunning red wine is a silky blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot and 2% Malbec. This wine was aged for 18 months in new French oak prior to bottling. The herbal quality to the aromatics are slightly different than the 2012 or 2013. There is a beautiful purity of fruit on the nose, as the aromatics are downright intoxicating. This shows rose petals, creme de cassis, mocha, tar, red bell pepper and dill aromatics that are deep and pure. The freshness is there, as the wine showcases intense flavors of creme de cassis, Turkish coffee, and dark chocolate shavings. The poise is pretty awesome. A tannic monster of a wine right now, try to give this at least two years in the cellar for the fruit to better develop. Drink 2019-2042- 98