The legendary Opus One wine brand was created in the 1970’s through a merger between two visionary individuals: Baron Philippe de Rothschild (owner of the famous Pauillac First Growth Chateau Mouton-Rothschild) and Robert Mondavi (an iconic American wine producer whose namesake wine empire stretches across California). Together, these two wine giants have developed a California wine that brings together the unique New World terroir of the Oakville AVA with unparalleled Old World French savoir-faire. Opus One stands as a brilliant example of the enormous potential of American wine country, conceived as the must-have Bordeaux First Growth of California.
The 2016 Opus One is produced from four different parcels situated in the western region of the Oakville AVA in Napa Valley, California. The first two parcels form the world-renowned To-Kalon vineyard, measuring roughly 100 acres in total. The grapes from here are blended with fruit from the River and Ballestra Pacels, forming 70 acres that surround the Opus One winery. The Opus One vineyards are planted with classic Bordeaux grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot.
The 2016 vintage at Opus One was the fifth consecutive vintage characterized by intense drought conditions in Northern California. Nevertheless, the Oakville AVA received 28 inches of rain, most of it just in time for bud break in March. In August, perfect conditions for ripening the grapes continued up until the harvest, with a temperature spike in early September. The harvest began on the 9th of September under mild conditions and was completed in just 33 days on October 12.
Vinification and aging
Out in the Opus One vineyards, winemaker Michael Silacci (who has been at the winery for over two decades) begins tasting grapes rather early in order to pinpoint the perfect harvest date. Optical sorting at the winery ensures only the best fruit goes into the blend. The maceration period for the 2016 Opus One was 17 days and the wine was aged for 18 months in new French oak barrels.
In the glass, the Opus One 2016 displays a deep garnet-purple color.
The Opus One 2016 reveals a refined and sumptuous nose full of blue and red fruit, balanced by nuances of rosemary, sage and black olives. Delicate touches of exotic spices, vanilla and spring flowers complete its aromatic profile.
Delightfully round on the palate, the Opus One 2016 presents creamy and fine-grained tannins and juicy, lively flavors of blackberries, black cherries and cassis. This wine is remarkably harmonious, leaving behind a long, lingering finish full of dark chocolate and espresso flavors.