Opus One 2008
Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
The 1996 vintage of this wine was ranked #2 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 1999
Aromas of rose petals, cassis and black cherry in the 2008 combine with notes of marzipan and sandalwood. A satin texture enrobes the wine's smooth, round tannins, its bright acidity supporting a juicy and elegant mouthfeel. This precocious and remarkable wine offers a long finish, with traces of clove and dark chocolate.
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Next to the 2007, the 2008 Opus One comes across as dark, powerful and brooding. Tar, savory herbs, licorice, blackberry jam and grilled herbs are some of the many notes that explode from the glass in a masculine, virile Opus One that stands out for its sheer personality. The 2008 reminds me a little of the 2005, but it has even more polish and sweetness, especially in the tannin. The Opus One is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Merlot."
International Wine Cellar - "Good red-ruby color. Rather wild, nuanced nose combines blackcurrant, dusty brown spices, tobacco, mocha, leather and meat. Juicy and energetic in the mouth, with enticing inner-mouth florality giving lift to the dark berry, licorice and bitter chocolate flavors. Not a particularly dense or fruity style but boasts nicely integrated acidity and already displays a lot of personality. Finishes with substantial but fine-grained tannins, a hint of licorice and excellent persistence. Winemaker Michael Silacci noted that this wine features the highest percentage of petit verdot to date. And he's convinced that co-fermenting it with the cabernet sauvignon diminished the natural rusticity of petit verdot."
Wine Spectator - "Graceful and elegant, very understated and delicate, with floral, spice, mint, bay leaf, currant, cedar and tobacco notes that are complex and vibrant. Full-bodied, gaining on the finish, then firming and drying. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Drink now through 2021. 16,500 cases made."
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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 & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.