2017 Opus One Napa Valley
Region: Napa Valley
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.
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. VINTAGE 2017 The winter of 2017 ended a five-year drought with January recording the most rainfall in over 20 years.
The abundant rainfall continued into March, causing a modest delay in budbreak, and pushing bloom back by two weeks. Increased soil moisture allowed for healthy vine growth and development. The summer, in turn, was warm and punctuated by occasional heat waves. Despite Mother Nature’s variability, favorable weather in August provided optimal conditions for fruit development and maturation. Superb flavors and excellent ripening led to an earlier than expected harvest, which commenced on the 5th of September.
The Opus One 2017 offers a harmonious aromatic balance of rich dark fruit, stems of roses, and earthy forest floor. The juicy entry offers a round, silky mouthfeel with just enough acidity to complement the satin texture. This seductive wine shows flavors of black cassis, black cherry and a hint of cocoa powder. The fine-grained, plush tannins evolve into a long, supple finish. A supremely age-worthy wine, it will delight now and for many years to come.
VARIETALS: Cabernet Sauvignon 80%, Petit Verdot 9%, Cabernet Franc 5%, Merlot 5%, and Malbec 1% SKIN
CONTACT: 20 days
BARREL AGING: 17 months in new French oak
96 points Decanter
A fist of late summer cherries, raspberry and bilberry fruits set out their stall, all with the juicy character that confirms, even in a hot vintage like 2017, Opus can deliver balance and sculpted elegance. Beautiful grip, creamy texture with a strikingly powerful tannic frame. As the wine stays in the glass the floral aromatics begin to bloom up. A brilliant Opus. 20 days maceration - around half what it would have been a decade ago. 54% native yeast, as part of their native yeast project. 5% Merlot and 1% Malbec complete the blend. Harvest spread out over September 5 to October 8, just before the fires, by which time they had less than 10% of the fruit still out on the vines. 3.7pH. Drinking Window 2023 - 2045 (JA) (8/2020)
95 points James Suckling
Lots of currant and floral notes on the nose. Hints of mint and spice. Medium-to full-bodied, round and savory with creamy, juicy tannins. Hints of citrus underneath. Bright, fresh and delicious. Drink or hold. (1/2020)
95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Opus One had picked 91% of their fruit before the fires started in 2017, and only two lots were eliminated from consideration. The 2017 Opus One, bottled in July 2019, is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.5% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4.5% Merlot and 1% Malbec. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it slowly grows on the nose, revealing compelling notes of baked black cherries, mulberries, black raspberries, warm cassis and blackberry pie with nuances of spice cake, yeast extract, tapenade, licorice and dusty soil with a waft of wild sage. Medium-bodied, the palate has a lively skip in its step, featuring bags of juicy raspberry and cassis-laced fruit and a refreshing line, supported by ripe, plush tannins, finishing long and graceful. (LPB) (10/2019)