2017 Opus One
Vintage : 2017
Region : Oakville, 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.
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
96 points Decanter
Outer quote mark 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
Outer quote mark 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)
Call it a hat trick: Opus One knocks it out of the park with three excellent, if very different, takes on the the last string of vintages: 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Already previously reviewed as a barrel sample, the 2015 was a show-stopper from barrel and is equally impressive in bottle. The last of the "drought" years and a rather warm one at that, the resolute nature of these impeccably tended Oakville vines is apparent in the complex layers, beautiful freshness and rock-solid frame of this wine. " Aug 2018