2003 Opus One Napa Valley Proprietary Red
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec aged 17 months in French oak is a strong effort offering creme de cassis, cedarwood, white chocolate and spice box. It possesses a Bordeaux-like personality, as one might expect since Opus One is owned by Baroness Philippe de Rothschild and the winemaking team comes primarily from Pauillac. The significant tannin in the wine provides a slight austerity, but this is a full-bodied, rich effort that marks the beginning of a period when Opus One finally began to live up to the enormous potential first announced in the late 1970s by the late Baron Philippe de Rothschild and the late Robert Mondavi. Although accessible now, the 2003 will benefit from another 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for two decades.
Intense and concentrated, with dried currant, wild berry and cedary oak flavors providing a dry, chewy aftertaste. May benefit from time in the bottle. Best from 2008 through 2013.
The 2003 Opus blends 91% Cabernet Sauvignon with 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Merlot and 1% Malbec, aged in new French oak barrels for 17 months. The resulting wine had a deep garnet hue upon release, and smelled like a blackberry and hazelnut tart dusted with cocoa. On the palate the blackberry was matched by tangy-sweet cherry, pencil lead, anise, herbs and more bittersweet chocolate. Now, as the tannins resolve with botte aging, the wine grows increasingly soft and rich on the palate, with cedar, leather and herbs lingering on the cherry and currant-inflected finish.