1997 Opus One Napa Valley Proprietary Red
The 1997 Opus One tastes like it was made yesterday, not 16 years ago. One of the most opulent, racy wines in this vertical, the 1997 literally explodes from the glass. Juicy dark red cherries, menthol, tobacco and licorice all make an appearance as the 1997 opens up over time. Readers holding the 1997 are in for a thrill. Even though the growing season was defined by hot weather, a short maturation cycle and a large crop, the wine turned out beautifully. In 1997 the blend is 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot, 4% Malbec and 1% Petit Verdot, a first for Opus One.
**Cellar Selection** A rich, decidedly earthy style of Opus, showing currant, anise, black cherry, mineral, leather and sage flavors that are focused and complex.
Very vigorous crimson. Looks exceptionally healthy. Still quite a 'buried' bouquet. Big and bold and sweet on the palate delivering lots of pleasure. Quite powerful but at least there is fruit on the front palate to compensate for lots of very fine tannins at the end. 18/20 points.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Medium bright ruby. Slightly sauvage aromas of cassis, dark chocolate, meat, leather and black pepper. Stylish and sweet, with moderately dense, creamy flavors of raspberry, roast meat and tobacco. Rather sophisticated texture for California wine. I would have scored this wine higher were it not for its slightly drying tannins, which did not soften even as the middle palate grew increasingly silky with extended aeration.
Opus One was founded as a joint venture between Mouton Rothschild and Robert Mondavi, and in 1984 released its first vintage, the 1979. It has since become an international success and a landmark winery in Napa. Comprised of 169 acres of vineyards in Napa Valley, they produce a luxury Bordeaux style blend.