Opus One (375ML half-bottle) 1996
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
Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.
Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.