1979 Opus One Napa Valley Proprietary Red
The 1979 Opus One emerges from the glass with pine, menthol, sweet red cherries, tobacco, dried flowers and savory herbs. Deceptively medium in body, the 1979 packs a serious punch on the palate, where it still has fabulous depth and remarkable vigor for a wine of its age. Sweet, silky tannins frame the gorgeous finish. What a great start to this tasting. Any remaining bottles need to be enjoyed now, but the 1979 remains superb. Tim Mondavi describes 1979 as a fairly normal year, with a little more rain than normal. The blend is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc and 4% Merlot. (AG)
Tasted from magnum. Wonderful range of mature, complex dried cherry, berry, herb, cedar, anise and olive. Offers depth, polish and grace, finishing with firm tannins. Lovely now. Opus One vertical.
Still deep and ruby in colour, only moderately transparent. Nose evolved and complex, with rich, tobacco and ripe plum fruit and undergrowth aromas. Palate smooth and ripe, still fresh but fully mature. Mushroomy, earthy, savoury notes here, with crisp acidity. Still plenty of fruit left. Lovely freshness on the finish, which is long, persistent and complex. Not overripe - picked necessarily early, due to rain in September. Delicious. 17.5/20 points.
Fully mature, brick rim but good depth of crimson too. Sweet, gentle fully mature nose. Not desperately intense but certainly eloquent enough. Quite a luscious palate entry with a bit of acidity showing now and some dryness on the finish. As though this wine is going downhill but very, very slowly. Not especially alcoholic. Fresh, refreshing. Contrary to popular folklore, Opus claim they didn’t poach fruit for this from the 1979 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Reserve because Lucian Sionneau of Mouton chose the leaner samples, leaving the fatter ones for Reserve. Only 10 day skin contact and he captured some of the press wines to mitigate this.
First-ever vintage from Opus - a collector's wine!