2017 opus one, napa valley
Why We're Buying
There are more than 50 wineries in Napa Valley, and they all wish they could produce something as magical as Opus One. Created in 1984 in a collaborative effort between Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Opus One is an indicative blend of five red-wine grapes. The grapes bring character to the wine in a way that cannot be replicated anywhere else. The price of this legendary Bordeaux-style red blend has risen 30.8% from 2017 to 2021.
A fist of late summer cherries, raspberry and bilberry fruits set out their stall, all with the juicy character that confirms, even in a hot vintage like 2017, Opus can deliver balance and sculpted elegance. Beautiful grip, creamy texture with a strikingly powerful tannic frame. As the wine stays in the glass the floral aromatics begin to bloom up. A brilliant Opus. 20 days maceration - around half what it would have been a decade ago. 54% native yeast, as part of their native yeast project. 5% Merlot and 1% Malbec complete the blend. Harvest spread out over September 5 to October 8, just before the fires, by which time they had less than 10% of the fruit still out on the vines. 3.7pH.
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.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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.
This features currant and plum fruit, with tobacco, loam and singed savory notes, maintaining range and driving through the finish. The structure is fine-grained, delivering a lingering hint of acidity. A more subtle expression of Cabernet. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Best from 2022 through 2036.