A decreased berry set in May followed by sunny days and warm July nights brought the smaller-than-average crop of 1996 to maturity in mid-September. Showing deep color, the wines are bold and concentrated, with supple texture, lush flavors, and a smooth lingering finish.
"This is one of the finest Opus Ones to date, offering a dark ruby/purple color, as well as a striking, intense bouquet of sweet licorice intermixed with blackberries, cassis, plums, and saddle leather. This seamless, full-bodied wine is more velvety-textured, opulent, and succulent than past vintages. The mid-palate is expansive and chewy. The long finish is filled with glycerin, ripe fruit, and sweet tannin. Drink this impressive, user-friendly yet richly concentrated effort over the next 15 years."
The Wine Advocate
"Bright full ruby-red. Pungent black raspberry, leather, game, chocolate, espresso, pepper and fresh herbs. Juicy, bright and very concentrated, with crunchy currant, tobacco and dark chocolate flavors supported and amplified by a firm spine of acidity. Long on personality. Finishes with dusty tannins and excellent length."
International Wine Cellar