2016 Opus One
Vintage : 2016
Region : Oakville, Napa Valley
98-99 Points WINE
Opus One was created in 1978 by Baron Philippe de Rothschild, the legendary owner of Château Mouton Rothschild, and the famous Napa Valley wine producer Robert Mondavi. By combining both families’ winemaking traditions and innovations, the partners aimed to create an exceptional wine in the heart of the Napa Valley. Opus One was a success and has been acclaimed as a “Californian First Growth”. Opus One has 55 hectares (136 acres) of vines planted with Bordeaux grape varieties. Baroness Philippine de Rothschild inaugurated the new Opus One winery, one of the architectural gems of the Napa Valley, in 1991.
Constellation Brands acquired Robert Mondavi Winery in 2004 and reached an agreement with Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA in the following year to continue Opus One as a 50/50 joint venture. Asserting its independence and striking a perfect balance between its two partners, Opus One’s sole aim is to maintain its founders’ vision and passion for future generations.
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
Opus One was founded by Baron Philippe de Rothschild, legendary proprietor of Château Mouton Rothschild, and renowned Napa Valley vintner Robert Mondavi. By combining the great winemaking traditions and innovations of both families, the founders’ singular goal was to create an exceptional wine in the heart of Napa Valley. Opus One, like any great work, arose out of passion. Dedicated to uncompromised quality, Opus One’s sole purpose is to express this vision and passionate spirit for generations to come.
2016 marked the fifth consecutive year of a punishing drought in Northern California; however, our Oakville estate was fortunate to receive 28½ inches of rain; most of which fell before March; making the soil conditions ideal for budbreak that began precociously on March 7th. Conditions in August were perfect for ripening and moderate temperatures persisted up until harvest with only a temporary heat spike in early September. Harvest began on September 9th under mild conditions which allowed the vineyard team to be more selective and work at a steady pace. As warming increased, so did the pace and the harvest was completed, in just 33 days, on October 12. The 2016 Opus One is remarkably elegant and bright offering sumptuous aromas of fresh red and blue fruit, baking spices and vanilla, and a delicate fragrance of spring florals. The initial bouquet is augmented by more nuanced notes of sage, rosemary, and black olive. Juicy flavors of black cherry, blackberry and cassis flood the palate and creamy, fine-grained tannins deliver a delightfully round structure. Harmonious and lively, the flavors linger to create an enduring finish with touches of dark chocolate and espresso.
Cabernet Sauvignon 77%, Petit Verdot 8%, Merlot 8%, Cabernet Franc 5%, and Malbec 2%
99 points James Suckling
Fantastic aromas that are complex and complete with blackcurrants, blueberries and herbs, such as basil and bay leaf. But always subtle. Full-bodied yet linear and very refined with a very persistent finish. It shows drive and brightness. So refined at the end. Needs at least three to five years to come together. (2/2019)
98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Opus One offers up bold, expressive black and blue fruits: warm black plums, black cherries, blackcurrants and wild blueberries with a beautiful undercurrent of lilacs, roses, fertile loam, underbrush and Indian spices. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is a tightly coiled spring ready to explode, with fantastic tension and wonderfully ripe, very fine-grained tannins, finishing very long with a mineral lift. (LPB) (10/2019)