1979 & 1980 Opus One, Napa Valley, Case of 6 btls DR95/DR99
1979 Opus One, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml) DR95
1980 Opus One, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml) DR99/AG95
1983 Opus One, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml)
1985 Opus One, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml)
1991 Opus One, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml)
1992 Opus One, Napa Valley, Case of 6 btls DR95
1993 Opus One, Napa Valley, Case of 6 btls
1994 Opus One, Napa Valley, Case of 6 btls AG96
1995 Opus One, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml)
1995 Opus One, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml) [Nicked Label]
1995 Opus One, Napa Valley, Case of 6 btls
2001 Opus One, Napa Valley, Case of 6 btls DR98
2002 Opus One, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml) AG95/RP94
2002 Opus One, Napa Valley, Case of 6 btls LP95/AG95
2003 Opus One, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml) LP95/RP94/JD94
2004 Opus One, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml) DR97/RP96/JD96
2004 Opus One, Napa Valley, Case of 6 btls DR97/RP96/JD96
2005 Opus One, Napa Valley, Case of 6 btls DR96/RP95/JD95
2006 Opus One, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml) JS95/DR95
2006 Opus One, Napa Valley, Case of 6 btls JS95/DR95
2008 Opus One, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml) LP96/DR96/AG95
2008 Opus One, Napa Valley, Case of 6 btls LP96/DR96/AG95
2009 Opus One, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml) AG94+
2010 Opus One, Napa Valley, Bottle (750ml) VM97/RP96
2013 Opus One, Napa Valley, Case of 6 btls JS100/DR100
2014 Opus One, Napa Valley, Case of 6 btls JS97/RP96
2015 Opus One, Napa Valley, Case of 6 btls JS98/RP97
2017 Opus One, Napa Valley, Case of 6 btls RP95/AG95+
2019 Opus One, Napa Valley, Case of 6 btls JS99/LP98

Opus One Wine – A Legacy of Excellence

Opus One is a name synonymous with luxury and excellence in the world of fine wine. The journey of this incredible Estate is a remarkable tale of collaboration, innovation, and the pursuit of uncompromising quality.

The Visionaries - Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild

At the heart of the Opus One story are two iconic figures in the wine industry: Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild. Robert Mondavi, a renowned American winemaker, was known for his pioneering work in California's Napa Valley. He was a visionary who believed that winemaking was an art that brought people together, celebrating the generosity of spirit and the passion of the heart.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, of the esteemed Châteaux Mouton Rothschild and Lafite Rothschild in Bordeaux, was a business tycoon who had achieved success not only in the wine industry but also in the world of art labels. His belief was that wine transcended human existence and endured beyond its creation.

The genesis of Opus One can be traced back to 1970 when Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild met for the first time at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii. This meeting marked the beginning of their collaboration to merge the best of Old World and New World winemaking styles and philosophy into one grand opus.

The Birth of Opus One

Mondavi and Rothschilds’ collaboration officially came to life in 1979 when the first vintage of Opus One, then named Napamedoc, was created. This unique label symbolized the blending of Franco-American winemaking traditions. However, it wasn't until 1980 that this first vintage was launched and in 1982 under the official name: Opus One. The origins of the term Opus One were derived from the ancient Latin terminology, Oper, which implies the first masterpiece of a musician. More importantly though to the two savvy wine marketers, “Opus One” was easy to pronounce in multiple languages.

Opus One wine made its public debut in 1984, however even before its official release, it had garnered significant interest, as a single case of the wine sold for $24,000 at the first Napa Valley Wine Auction in 1981. By the 1990s, Opus One had risen to prominence as the quintessential California cult wine, finding a dedicated following not only in the United States but also across Asia and Europe.

In 2004, when Constellation Brands took over the Robert Mondavi winery, the estate of Baron Rothschild engaged in negotiations with Constellation Brands to assume control over various aspects of the winery, including marketing, vineyard management, and administrative operations.

Opus One Winery – “Californian 1st Growth”

Opus One boasts a picturesque vineyard that covers over 100 acres in the heart of Napa Valley, with a significant portion sourced from Robert Mondavi's legendary To Kalon Vineyard. This iconic vineyard is known for producing exceptional grapes that contribute to the opulence and depth of Opus One wines. The choice of location was deliberate, as Napa Valley's climate and soil composition resembles that of Bordeaux, which played a pivotal role in defining the style of Opus One.

The Oakville AVA experiences a Mediterranean climate, as does Bordeaux, characterized by warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters. This climate is ideal for grape cultivation and allows for a long growing season, which is essential for achieving full ripeness and flavor development in the grapes.

Within the AVA, there are microclimates that influence the different blocks of vineyards at Opus One. These microclimates result from variations in elevation, exposure to sunlight, and proximity to the Napa River. The estate's diverse terroir allows for the cultivation of different grape varieties and the creation of complex blends.

A significant portion of Opus One's vineyards are sourced from the renowned To Kalon Vineyard. The To Kalon Vineyard is celebrated for its diverse soil types, which contribute to the complexity of the grapes grown there. The soils in this vineyard consist of well-draining alluvial deposits, including gravelly, loamy, and clay-rich soils. These variations in soil types offer unique mineral characteristics to the grapes.

In addition to the To Kalon Vineyard, Opus One's estate vineyards include blocks with alluvial and volcanic soils. These soils provide a range of flavors and textures, enhancing the complexity of the final blend. The presence of mineral-rich soils in the vineyards imparts distinctive mineral and earthy notes to the wine, adding depth and character to the final product.

The Process of Creating A Masterpiece

Opus One's winemaking process is marked by meticulous attention to detail. The grapes are hand-harvested and carefully sorted, ensuring that only the finest fruit is used. Advanced winemaking facilities are employed to ferment and age the wine, involving more than 30 substantial fermentation tanks. To ensure the highest quality, the final blend is rigorously tested for taste in an advanced laboratory, overseen by Michael Silacci, a winemaking expert with over two decades of experience.

Opus One Wine

Opus One is a single wine, a Bordeaux Blend sourced from estate vineyards in Oakville. Though every vintage differs slightly based on natural conditions surrounding the winemaking process, such as climate, most bottles can be described in a similar manor: The Opus One wine has intense aromas of black plum, blueberry, black currant, and dried rose petals, accentuated by mineral undertones. The creamy, satiny texture is framed by fine-grained tannins. The freshness and soft glow of acidity create a subtle tension with dark fruit flavors, savory herbs, espresso, and cocoa. A delicate dark chocolate bitterness lingers on the finish.

In one word: Delicious.

In addition to their flagship wine, Opus One produces a second-tier label known as Overture, crafted from the fruit that doesn't make it into the primary blend.

Two Legends – One Legacy

Opus One is a living testament to the dedication of its founders, Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild, to create a wine of unparalleled quality and distinction. Their collaboration has given the world a masterpiece that transcends time and place, capturing the essence of each vintage. Opus One is not just wine; it is a symbol of excellence, an art form, and a representation of boundless possibilities that can be achieved when visionary minds come together in pursuit of a common goal.

Written by: Arabella Maislinger

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