Opus One 1994
Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
The longest, coolest growing season recorded in a decade, 1994 started with a sunny and dry March and an early bud break. Summer was cooler than average, extending the growing season and the "hang time" of the grapes. The wines are long-lived and profound.
The Wine Advocate - "This is an impressive effort from Opus One. The wine, a blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot, and 1% Malbec, possesses a dark ruby/purple color, followed by a generous, complex nose of lead pencil, toasty oak, violets, and black currants. In the mouth, there is a beautiful texture, soft, generous, low acid, full-bodied richness, and a stunningly proportioned, rich, intense finish. The influence of 18 months in new French oak casks gives the wine a subtle oaky note in addition to giving it excellent delineation. Because of the wine's softness and generosity, it can be drunk now as well as over the next 18-20 years."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 1994 Opus One is a beautiful, symmetrical wine endowed with stunning balance and pure class. Silky, nuanced and delineated, the 1994 takes shape nicely in the glass. Unfortunately, this is another vintage affected by brett, but at the same time, there are plenty of positive attributes that compensate to some degree. Still, it is quite obvious the 1994 could have – and should have – been a more important wine, perhaps even more than that. The blend is 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot and 1% Malbec."
Opus One Winery
Opus One is a partnership founded by Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Chateau mouton Rothschild in Pauillac, France, and renowned Napa Valley vintner, Robert Mondavi. Producing luxury wines from its Napa Valley vineyards, the partnership made its first vintage in 1979 and has made wine at Opus one since 1991. The 2009 vintage is distributed in all 50 states and is sold in 65 countries worldwide. View all Opus One Winery Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.