Opus One 2012
Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon 79%, Cabernet Franc 7%, Petit Verdot 6%, Merlot 6% and Malbec 2%
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Learn about Opus One, it’s history, the winery and the wine.
History of Opus One
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 facial profile of the two founders is visible on their iconic label.
Opus One Wine
The essence of time is expressed in Opus One wine by the character of each vintage. Place, often defined as terroir, represents the geography, the climate and the essential human element which is captured in the wine’s balance between power and finesse, structure and texture.
Guided by the vision of our founders, winemaker Michael Silacci combines intuition and technical acumen with the dual perspective of viticulturist and winemaker. From tasting berries to careful sorting and extended aging in new French oak barrels, each stage of the winemaking process is afforded the same meticulous consideration and attention. After 18 months, the Opus One wine is bottled and held an additional 15 months until release on October 1st each year.
The Opus One Winery
Rising gracefully from the vineyards, Opus One winery stands in subtle celebration of the land and the open space that surrounds the estate. It remains an ongoing testament to the founders’ vision of a singular wine that transcends generations.
The estate vineyards of Opus One, comprised of four parcels, sit in the western portion of the famed Oakville AVA in Napa Valley. Two parcels, totaling 100 acres, are within the renowned To Kalon Vineyard. These are complemented by the combined 70 acres of the Ballestra and River parcels, which envelop the winery. In the vineyards, hand-harvesting and other traditional approaches are taken wherever they work best. When modern techniques benefit the winegrowing process, they are researched, evaluated and integrated into practice
Home to some of the most sought-after Cabernet Sauvignon in America, Napa Valley’s Oakville district stretches across the center of Napa's valley floor and foothills between the Vaca and Mayacamas Mountains. This AVA is home to the legendary To Kalon Vineyard and Martha's Vineyard, as well as many powerhouse wineries including Screaming Eagle, Silver Oak, Robert Mondavi, Opus One, Far Niente and Groth.
The climate is generally warm and agreeable, resulting in year after year of favorable vintages. Summer days see a gentle tug of war between warmer inland air and the cool air coming in from the San Pablo Bay, creating an ideal environment to grow red varieties. Oakville's diverse soils, namely ancient sea bedrock, clay and gravel, are well-drained, and perfect for high-caliber viticulture.
Cabernet here is often bottled varietally but is also popular in Bordeaux Blends. Oakville wines are known for their silky, sensual textures, structured tannins, dark and brooding fruit and lovely aromatics. These age-worthy and prestigious wines are favored by collectors throughout the world.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.
Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends
Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.
Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends
Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.
Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.