Opus One Offering - The First Growth of Napa Valley on SALE!
“Excellent wine generates enthusiasm. And whatever you do with enthusiasm is generally successful.” Baron Philippe de Rothschild, quoted in: “All American wine tastes the same … like Coca Cola.”
- Baron Philippe de Rothschild, The Essential Wine Buff, edited by Jennifer Taylor, 1996.
I can’t tell you the last time I had Coca Cola, wine and water are the two most important beverages you can put in your body. We have a great line-up of Wine Tasting events the week Toni and I get back from vacation. With two once in a lifetime vintage Bordeaux tasting featuring all the first growths.
Speaking of first growths September/October means it’s time for the fall releases from Napa Valley and none of these are more highly anticipated than the first growth of Napa Valley the iconic Opus One. Normally we would expect the release of the 2020 vintage but this was the year they had a major issue with fire and smoke taint in the vineyards so Opus One made no wine at all in 2020. We were concerned that this may mean we would not get our annual allocation of Opus One but for long time customers that have bought this wine upon release every year like Wine Watch Opus One decided to offer us an older vintage to cover our needs this year.
I was especially happy to see that they offered us the 2018 vintage as it is one of my favorite vintages of this iconic wine.
Are there two men that walked the earth over the last 100 years that were more important to the wine industry as a whole? I am talking about the two original partners in the Opus One project; Robert Mondavi and the Baron Philippe de Rothschild.
Well, it is kind of ironic that the wines from this winery are now getting the best press ever. We have always been big fans of Opus One and have hosted several events over the years with this winery including an event that put all 26 consecutive vintages released at that time of Opus One on the table. The 1979 showed brilliantly on that occasion as it did in 2010 when we showed it at the great wine seminar with Opus’s CEO David Pearson. Even the French tasters, Pierre-Emanuel Taittinger, Eric Rousseau and Pierre Lurton had nice things to say about this first growth of the Napa Valley.
The newest release is here and although the wine continues to go up in price it has not slowed the demand for this iconic wine as it is sold in over 80 countries the world over and is considered to be one of the most prestigious brands in the wine business.
You can argue that there are better wines at a lower price, but there is no disputing that Opus One is the most successful wine brand created in our lifetime. There is no other wine that has come on the scene the last 40 years that is over 30,000 cases in production and that costs over $300 per bottle. Opus One is the best investment you could have made in wine the last 30 years!
The Vineyards in 2018 enjoyed idyllic growing conditions with consistent weather and milder temperatures. The beginning of the year was dry, however, well timed rainfall just before budbreak provided the necessary water for canopy development. Flawless conditions ensued during flowering and fruit set which led to higher-than-average yields. Veraison occurred only seven days later than the average which gave the fruit the necessary time to ripen perfectly. Harvest began on September 9th, with a steady pace that concluded on October 25th.
The 2018 Opus One is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec. Aged for 17 months in new French oak.
2018 Vintage Opus One
2018 Opus One Napa 3 Liter
Price: $2382.00 Your Price: $2025.00
2018 Opus One Napa Magnum
Price: $1132.50 Your Price: $962.63
2018 Opus One Napa
Price: $485.25 Your Price: $395.00
2018 Opus One Napa 375ml
List Price: $199.50 Your Price: $175.56 Quantity in Stock: 8
(98 Points) 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. Wine Advocate
Overture – The only other wine made at Opus One Winery
Overture Napa Red wine by Opus One NV
List Price: $175.00 Your Price: $149.00 Quantity in Stock: 11
Overture is the second wine of Opus One, it is made from lots not used in the final Opus blend. It is a non-vintage wine, softer and rounder upon release.
Wine Watch Tasting Notes: This is a blend of usually 3 different vintages, This wine has a good amount of fresh earth, black currant and they are 100% Estate bottled they four different vineyard sites, two surrounding the winery and then they have To Kalon Vineyard that was sold to the partnership. A good amount of dried tobacco cigar box spice and a very lean and savory style, a baby Opus with that classic old-world flair. Finish 40+ Excellent +
A bit of history about Opus One Winery
Over the span of a little more than three decades Opus One has become the most renowned name in American wine. The ride to the top has never been easy for the folks behind Opus One. From its conception as an idea created by the late Robert Mondavi and the late Baron de Rothschild, Opus One has been enveloped in controversy. The ambitious price of the first release, the doubting critics, the cynical consumers, and the overworked hype that has surrounded the wine from the beginning have all fueled the debate about its real quality. However, the new century has ushered in a new era for Opus One - this great winery's place in the future scheme of things has now been accepted and the quality niche it has carved for itself is no longer being questioned by the wine community. Opus One has proven itself beyond a doubt - it has, does, and you know you have made it in the world of elite wines when your peers from Bordeaux refer to you as one of the "First Growths" of Napa Valley.
The seeds for Opus were sown as far back as 1970 when Baron Rothschild visited California and made the oft-quoted statement "California wines are like Coca-Cola - they all taste the same." By 1975 the revered Baron, the dynamo who revolutionized Bordeaux and brought great fame to his beloved Château Mouton, apparently had a change of heart. He and Robert Mondavi met that year in Hawaii to discuss future possibilities. Four years later in 1979 the good Baron announced a joint venture with his American counterpart, Robert Mondavi, to produce a Franco-American wine in the Napa Valley. Conceived to utilize French vinification techniques and traditional Bordeaux grape varieties, the wine would be grown and produced in California; the winemaking decisions would be made jointly by Robert Mondavi's winemaker, Tim Mondavi, and his counterpart at Château Mouton, Lucien Sionneau (Sionneau, now retired, was replaced by Patrick Léon). The first vintage for Opus One was harvested in 1979, but it was not until October 1983 that a name for the wine was announced. Hundreds of choices were considered; but it was the Baron, a great patron of the arts and a lover of music, who suggested the name so closely associated with the art of music. When the name was revealed, Baron Philippe said in an interview: "A bottle of wine is a symphony to me". A full two years earlier excitement about the first release of this historic venture reached a crescendo at the first Napa Valley Wine Auction in the summer of 1981. A barrel of the 1979 vintage came up for sale. Nobody but the winemakers and the inner circle of Mondavi's staff had even tasted the wine, yet the bidding was furious for the first case from the first barrel. In less than three minutes the gavel slammed on the winning bid of $24,000 from Charles Mara of Syracuse, New York. The purchase price set an auction record - $2000 a bottle for California wine.
In the beginning, the grapes for Opus One came from Mondavi's best and most famous piece of vineyard real estate, the To-Kalon Ranch, 100 acres of which (known as the "Q Block") were sold to the joint venture by the Mondavi family after the partnership was formed in 1979. In 1983 Opus One began planting on a site across Highway 29 from the Robert Mondavi Winery; it was to be called the River Parcel and is north of the present winery. Two years later the Ballestra Vineyard was planted on what is now the south side of the winery. In the ensuing years phylloxera struck and completely devastated the first two vineyards (now replanted). Only Ballestra, which was planted on resistant rootstock at the specific instruction of Mouton's technical director, Patrick Léon, survived the epidemic unscathed. The winery follows a gravity flow design that put most of the vast edifice underground, covering it with an earthen berm that rises, pyramid-like, from the flat vineyard plain of Oakville which surrounds the site. No expense was spared to build the Opus One winery. According to Robert Mondavi, "We stopped at nothing to buy the finest equipment in order to produce the kind of wine we wanted...We looked at the finest materials in the world. We didn't look at price; we picked what we wanted...we felt this was being built, not for the next 10 or 15 years, but for the next couple of hundred years." Construction of the winery was not without its obstacles. The cellar had to be waterproofed, insulated, and cooled using a costly radiant system based on miles of pipes in the cellar's floor and ceiling that circulate 45 F water, cooling the air to 55 F. Those measures, plus the cost overruns that often are associated with high profile construction projects, caused the Opus One winery budget to balloon. From initial concept to completion, the project took seven years to finish. When the doors opened in 1991, winery officials conceded that Opus, budgeted between $10 and $13 million, had cost a staggering $26 million!
The first two vintages of Opus One - 1979 and 1980 - were released together in the spring of 1984. The wines were controversial in that not all felt they were of outstanding quality. However, most observers now believe that recent vintages have been at the very top echelon of reds produced in California. The wines have also become serious collectibles. The 1985 - one of the top vintages of the 1980's - now commands $450 to $650 a bottle. A bit high for a bottle of California wine, but that seems small in comparison to the 1979 (the first vintage, still quite good at this point) this wine is selling for around $2000 a bottle- a true trophy wine and we have it in both 750ml and magnum format on this offering!
All the older vintage Opus One in the store on SALE!!
1979 OPUS ONE NAPA VALLEY MAGNUM
Price: $3500.00 Sale Price: $2750.00 Quantity in Stock: 1
1979 OPUS ONE NAPA VALLEY
Price: $2350.00 Sale Price: $1950.00 Quantity in Stock: 1
1980 OPUS ONE NAPA VALLEY
Price: $1500.00 Sale Price: $1050.00 Quantity in Stock: 4
1981 OPUS ONE NAPA VALLEY
Price: $725.00 Sale Price: $600.00 Quantity in Stock: 6
1984 OPUS ONE NAPA VALLEY
Price: $750.00 Sale Price: $600.00 Quantity in Stock: 3
2002 OPUS ONE NAPA VALLEY (6 LITER)
Price: $6500.00 Sale Price: $5100.00 Quantity in Stock: 1
2006 OPUS ONE NAPA VALLEY MAGNUM
Price: $1175.00 Sale Price: $959.00 Quantity in Stock: 1
2008 OPUS ONE NAPA VALLEY
Price: $595.00 Sale Price: $495.00 Quantity in Stock: 1
2009 OPUS ONE NAPA VALLEY MAGNUM
Price: $1150.00 Sale Price: $959.00 Quantity in Stock: 2
2017 OPUS ONE NAPA VALLEY
Price: $500.00 Sale Price: $405.00 Quantity in Stock: 11
2019 OPUS ONE NAPA VALLEY
Price: $480.00 Sale Price: $395.00 Quantity in Stock: 14
2019 OPUS ONE NAPA VALLEY 375ML
Price: $245.00 Your Price: $215.60 Quantity in Stock: 12