Red, Ready, but will improve

2008 Opus One

2008 Opus One

Red | Ready, but will improve | Opus One | Code:  9334 | 2008 | USA > California > Napa > Oakville | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Full Bodied, Dry | 14.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

GALLONI - Mocha, espresso, rosemary, lavender, plums and licorice emerge from the 2008 Opus One. Tasted from magnum, the 2008 is beautifully expressive. The firm tannins need more time to soften, but there is a lot to like in the 2008. Today the 2008 is showing beautifully. In magnum, the 2008 can be enjoyed today or cellared up to another 20 years or so. If opened young, the 2008 needs a few hours of air to soften. The bright, floral, spiced finish suggests a long life ahead. Magnum.
Antonio Galloni - vinousmedia.com - Nov 2013

OTHER - Dark red-ruby. Black raspberry and bitter chocolate on the inviting nose. Quite suave on entry, then wild and a bit gamey in the middle palate, with noteworthy energy to the black raspberry and chocolate flavors. Plenty of acidity here, but it's well buffered by the wine's material. In a rather penetrating style, but broadens out impressively on the back end, finishing with chocolatey tannins and superb subtle persistence.
Stephen Tanzer, September 2011

The Producer

Opus One

Opus One

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.

The Grape

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

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.

The Region

Oakville

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