Drink 2024 - 2043
Antonio Galloni, vinous.com (Jan 2021)
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.
Drink 2024 - 2058
Lisa Perrottti-Brown, Wine Advocate (Feb 2021)
James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (Aug 2021)
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (Aug 2021)
Idyllic growing conditions.' 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Malbec. 18-day maceration with 80% ambient yeast, followed by 17 months in 100% new French oak.
Deep, lustrous crimson – with a pale rim! Nose of warmth and ripeness but not heaviness. As though from a ripe Bordeaux vintage but then the tannins are so much riper than on most red bordeaux. Tangy freshness on the finish – one can only guess at the number of sessions in the tasting room that went into this blend! (Interesting to see more Petit Verdot than Merlot or Cabernet Franc.) Some delicacy, which I'm sure was the aim. Quite bordelais but so much more accessible. With impressive persistence. Neat, minerally and fine-boned.
Drink 2021 - 2035
Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com (Aug 2021)
Drink 2025 - 2057
Jeb Dunnuck, jebdunnuck.com (Apr 2021)
Drink 2024 - 2042
Jane Anson, Decanter.com (Sept 2021)
About this WINE
Opus One was a joint venture between Robert Mondavi and the late Baron Philippe de Rothschild. The first vintage (1979) was released in 1983 at the then unprecedented price of fifty dollars a bottle.
Opus One's fruit comes from the densely planted vineyards that surround the state of the art winery in the Oakville appellation. Opus One is a blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot and is aged for 18 months in French barrels (100% new) and then another 18 months in bottle before it is released.
Without doubt Opus One is one of California's most high profile wines, as well as being one of its best.
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.