Something about Opus One
The world-renowned Opus One was created in the 1970’s as a result of a merger between two visionaries, Baron Philippe de Rothschild (lengendary Bordeaux wine magnate and owner of Château Mouton-Rothschild in Pauillac) and Robert Mondavi (an icon in the history of American wine with a namesake wine empire in California). It was their aim to develop a New World equivalent to a Bordeaux First Growth in the Napa Valley region of California.
The exceptional style of Opus One resulted from the combination of their talent, their vision and the unique terroir of the Oakville AVA (an Eden for Cabernet Sauvignon). Today, this highly sought-after wine is produced from four different parcels, two parcels making up the famous 40-hectare To-Kalon vineyard, along with the River and Ballestra Parcels surrounding the Opus One winery. While the exact proportions depend on vintage, the blend is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, complemented by Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec, reminiscent of Bordeaux’s Left Bank. The wines are vinified separately before being matured in French oak barrels for a period of 18 months. They stay in the cellar, ageing in bottle for another 15 months, before being released on the market in October of each new year.
Four years before his death in 2008, Robert Mondavi sold Robert Mondavi Winery to the Constellation Brands wine conglomerate, along with his 50% share in Opus One. The project, which also saw the addition of a new parcel known as To-Kalon South, is now jointly managed by the Rothschild family and Constellation brands.
In the world of fine wines, Opus One has no equal. Its emblematic blue label tells the story of the union between two visionaries, the merger of two dynasties to produce one iconic wine: a Bordeaux-style Grand Vin from the greatest terroirs of Napa.
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Opus One had picked 91% of their fruit before the fires started in 2017, and only two lots were eliminated from consideration. The 2017 Opus One, bottled in July 2019, is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4.5% Merlot and 1% Malbec. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it slowly grows on the nose, revealing compelling notes of baked black cherries, mulberries, black raspberries, warm cassis and blackberry pie with nuances of spice cake, yeast extract, tapenade, licorice and dusty soil with a waft of wild sage. Medium-bodied, the palate has a lively skip in its step, featuring bags of juicy raspberry and cassis-laced fruit and a refreshing line, supported by ripe, plush tannins, finishing long and graceful. Drink 2021-2036.
Lots of currant and floral notes on the nose. Hints of mint and spice. Medium-to full-bodied, round and savory with creamy, juicy tannins. Hints of citrus underneath. Bright, fresh and delicious. Drink or hold.
A remarkable wine for the year, the 2017 Opus One is a dense, full-throttle beauty. Plush fruit and soft, silky contours give the 2017 its racy personality. Exotic, beautifully perfumed and impeccable in its balance, Opus One is one of the most complete wines of the vintage. In 2017, Opus One has a distinctly red-toned fruit profile that distinguishes it from the surrounding vintages. Drink 2023-2042.
80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, 1% Malbec. 20-day maceration and then aged for 17 months in 100% new French oak. Wet spring delayed flowering by two weeks and then came a very warm summer. Big heat spike early September shut down ripening for a while so the alcohol level is 'only' 14%. Picked from 5 September (a little 'earlier than expected') and 91% was harvested by 8 October when the fires started. (Two lots eventually were rejected.) 54% native yeast, of which the one they call Dog was the dominant one. They made about the usual quantity. Lustrous shaded garnet with some shading towards the rim. Interesting top note of tobacco with some candied fruit. Quite heady but well tamed. A combination of savoury and something as sweet and chalky as Edinburgh rock. Much livelier than the Overture just tasted, with tannin in evidence and a dry finish. Not a trace of smoke taint! Very mid Atlantic and really pretty sophisticated. Very appetising but quite youthful. Lightly angular and muscular. Drink with food now! May need to take on a little bit of puppy fat for perfection. Drink 2022-2036.
Under the law of Hong Kong, intoxicating liquor must not be sold or supplied to a minor in the course of business. 根據香港法律，不得在業務過程中，向未成年人售賣或供應令人醺醉的酒類。