Full of rich dark fruits, a beautiful California Cab. Although a bit heavier than I typically enjoy.
Wine Review: A Tale of Two Vintages – Opus One 2007 & 2008 I was so unbelievably honored when Opus One’s Winemaker, Michael Silacci invited me to dinner as a thank you for my Opus One 2007 wine review. Well, honored is an understatement, I was so flipping excited, I could hardly contain myself. For me, being in the company of a winemaker of his stature is like someone wanting to be a lyricist meeting Bob Dylan or a budding actor meeting Meryl Streep… it’s a big deal. Opus One was founded by two of the most famous wine families in history, the Robert Mondavi family from Napa valley, CA and the Baron Philipe de Rothschild of Mouton Rothschild, Pauilliac, France. The first vintage was in 1979… “A seemingly perfect growing season from bud break to the beginning of harvest, the 1979 vintage was challenged by rains in September. Early harvesting yielded clean, well-balanced fruit and a wine of resilience and finesse.” I was joined for dinner by my good friend, Rob, who is the perfect dinner companion and also the person who told me to start writing about wine. Michael was joined by France Posener, Opus One’s East Coast Sales Representative and a sharp-witted, brilliant, funny woman, who kept us entertained throughout the evening. When I first met Michael, I wasn’t sure whether to curtsy, bow or kiss his big gold ring. Okay, he wasn’t wearing a big gold ring, but I am trying to make the point here that this was a huge deal for me. Dinner was at the elegant L’Espalier! The decadent, over the top, completely extravagant journey of culinary delights we were on at L’Espalier will be shared at another time. Firstly, I wanted to share my very humble opinion of the Opus One 2008, which is not even out yet! How lucky am I? So, how different can a wine be from one vintage to the next? Well, quite different as it happens. Going between the 2007 and 2008 was an interesting experiment and a first for me. Whereas, the 2007 was quite subtle on the first nose, the 2008 is even more subtle and flowery – quite lovely. The 2008 is a wonderful deep almost opaque dark ruby color. I swirled my glass for quite some time (mimicking Michael a little bit) and then took in the aroma again – still subtle but with blackcurrant and smoky old fashioned pipe tobacco – it reminded me of my granddad a little and how he used to smell all smoky and musky. My first sip brought a smooth, chocolaty, creamy taste that made you shut your eyes and wish you were in a log cabin with a fire place and perhaps with George Clooney. I believe he is single again! The wine opens up more and just tickles the palate with hints of aniseed and mild spices and then finishes leaving a perfectly balanced, juicy wine that is begging to be savored. You know I stated that the 2007 “was as good it gets” and I meant it at the time and I still mean it, however, it has a rival in its own family. I honestly could not choose. It would truly depend on my mood at the time and of course who was treating me to this wonderful rich wine! Another great story about the Opus One 2008 is that it was born out of one of the smallest crops Opus One has ever had due to extreme weather conditions that caused frost damage and a very cold spring and late summer. To create such an amazing wine under these circumstances is a testament to Opus One and their ongoing dedication to making truly fine wines. I cannot even begin to put into words what an amazing evening I had so I will just say this… “Thank you!”
- Tasted at Wine Spectator New World Wine Experience 2010
Opus One. Eine Ikone im Napa Valley. Wunderbares "Bordeaux"-Imitat. Beeren, Cassis, kraft und Power. Leichter Barrique-Geschmack. Für mich: Definitiv zu teuer.
We had been talking about sharing this wonderful, infamous and indeed famous wine for weeks. I could not wait any longer. The time was now! We slowly opened the wine and poured the first glass. The Opus One is a deep, dark cherry color – almost opaque. I wanted to drink it immediately, but out of respect for the wine I swirled it for a minute and then inhaled my first nose. The aroma is subtle and not pungent like I thought it would be - ripe cherries and dark chocolate with a hint of aniseed. I slowly took my first sip and truly understood the hype! Smooth, rich, creamy, smoky, intense with a taste of bitter chocolate and sweet ripe cherries. As the wine opened up more it rested nicely on the palate and had a fullness that made this wine really juicy – incredible tannins that made you suck your cheeks in a little. The finish was long and memorable. This is quite possibly one of the sexiest wines I have every tasted and at an average price point (retail) of $200 a bottle, it really should be and is (for me anyway) the Brad Pitt of wines.
External Reviews for Opus One Red Bordeaux Blend Napa Valley
Full medium ruby. Wild, flamboyantly expressive aromas of black raspberry, crystallized blackberry, smoke, leather, licorice, bitter chocolate and cedar, lifted by violet and spices. Smooth, mouthfilling and decidedly dry, with a lightly dusty character to its flavors of dark fruits, minerals and game. The broad, very long finish features building tannins. Quite different in style from the higher-pitched 2008, which was tighter and more floral at the same stage of its evolution.
This bold, rich and assertive red is firm and concentrated, displaying a mix of dried currant, blackberry, wild berry and spice flavors, ending with loamy earth and melted black licorice notes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec. Best from 2014 through 2025.
The opaque purple-hued 2005 exhibits an extraordinary nose of violets, creme de cassis, charcoal, and spring flowers. Gorgeously pure, opulently full-bodied, with sweet tannins, superb concentration, and a low acid, ripe, tannic finish, it tastes like a top-notch vintage of ripe Bordeaux, but made in California. It can be drunk now and over the next 20ndash;25 years. Bravo!
Bold, rich and leathery, delivering tiers of currant, mineral, spice and sage, this is a remarkably complex and deeply concentrated Opus thatrsquo;s potent while it leans into Cabernetrsquo;s earthier spectrum. Best from 2001 through 2009.
Already slowed by El Nintilde;orsquo;s winter flooding, the growing season of 1998 was the coolest that Opus has seen since 1991. With foggy mornings and moderate temperatures recorded during summer, the season extended into late October, promoting slow ripening and a very long ldquo;hang timerdquo; for Opusrsquo;s grapes. The wine offers a resilient middle body, with seamless texture, sweet tannins, and a long, persistent finish.
As a wine, Opus One is quite good. As a phenomenon, itrsquo;s hard to beat. Opus can be found all over the civilizes world. For many American wine drinkers, it is synonymous with celebration and the concept of ldquo;making itrdquo;. The rsquo;95 is a big, tannic wine that needs two years or so to relax and show well. Itrsquo;s well balanced, and has dark plum fruit surrounded by a solid frame of French oak. Order a glass at your local upscale steakhouse to accompany your filet mignon.
[Barrel tasting] Tight and grapey, dark in color, this is immense, if young and a bit unfocused. Still, the raw ingredients indicate this will be a very successful, potentially outstanding Opus.
Food Pairings for Opus One Red Bordeaux Blend Napa Valley
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