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.
|1x75cl||$2,790.00 HKD||$2,790.00 HKD||6 Immediate|
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Extremely perfumed and floral with lavender, lilacs and violets to the sweet, ripe berries, such as blackberries and blackcurrants. Some slate and graphite, too. It’s full-bodied, yet ever so balanced and refined, with super fine tannins that last for minutes. Fresh herbs, such as bay leaf and lemon grass highlight the dark fruit. The quality of tannin is exquisite with wonderful polish and refinement. Lasts for minutes. So wonderful to taste now, but better after 2026.
Very deep garnet-purple in color, the 2018 Opus One soars out of the glass with bright, bold boysenberries, warm cassis and ripe, juicy black plums notes, plus emerging nuances of lilacs, oolong tea, cinnamon stick, tilled soil and black truffles. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with tightly wound layers of crunchy black fruits, supported by firm, grainy tannins and fantastic freshness, finishing with lifted fruitiness and on a lingering mineral note. 2024 - 2058
The 2018 Opus One is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, and the rest Merlot and Cabernet Franc. This deep purple-hued effort leans to lively, fresher side of the vintage but has a brilliant, utterly classic style in its crème de cassis and blue-tinged fruit as well as notes of lead pencil, candied violets, damp earth, and chocolate-like nuances. With a Pomerol-like elegance and purity, it's medium to full-bodied and has wonderful tannins, flawless balance, and a great finish. It plays in the finesse-driven end of the spectrum yet is concentrated and seamless, with serious length. It offers pleasure today but should benefit from 4-5 years in the cellar, and my money is on it evolving for 30 years or more.
As is so often the case with Opus, the wine expands slowly but surely, seducing you with the quality of tannins and the depth of the fruits that are wrapped around them. Silky at first, but as the wine expands you feel a grainier, slate texture that holds your interest. Rosebud, black cherry, cassis purée, espresso, juicy and elegant finish, extremely moreish. Similar vintage style to the 2005, a wine that I loved during a vertical of Opus I did in 2019, and the result of a mild and moderate growing season. They have eliminated green harvest as of 2020, and instead anticipate how to balance the crop earlier in the season during shoot thinning. 18 days skin contact in the cellar, another sign that this is a gentle vintage where everything came naturally so no need to macerate too long (over the years maceration has varied between 9 days and 43 days). Tasted twice.