Opus One is one of the strongest brands in wine. It is a stunning example of great terroir matched with world class winemaking; it is also one of the most investible wines. Between the release of their 2009 vintage and the most recent vintage, 2014 Opus One have increased their release price by 47%, with an increase of 19% from 2012 to 2013 and 16% from 2013 to 2014. However, the 2013 vintage has already returned 58% and the 2014, released in September this year, 20%. Moreover, what began as a joint venture between two wine giants and leaders in innovation, Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild, its decision to release on the Place de Bordeaux has allowed Opus One to establish an enviable global market; the icing on the cake is that it is incredibly strong in Asia – Japan is its biggest market outside of the US. However, while Opus One has received the mainstream commercial success over the last twenty years, they have a secret gem, Overture which until the last few years, has not been released commercially.

Overture has been made since 1993, designed for family consumption and restaurants. It is fashioned to provide maximum pleasure with food and to be more accessible younger. This is achieved by creating a multi vintage blend sourced from the same vineyards as Opus One. By blending vintages, they can achieve a standardised quality factor, which has been brilliantly received in leading restaurants. During this time, its star has risen so high, as has its demand, that they have decided to make is available commercially. It is now distributed through the Place de Bordeaux along with Opus One.

Overture is called the second wine of Opus One, however, the market sees it as an alternative parallel expression to Opus One. Opus One has a relentless pursuit in their vineyard, to farm every parcel with the focus to produce their flagship wine. However, in some vintages, some of these parcels do not make it into the final blend of Opus One. It is these parcels that are afforded additional barrel time. Each parcel will latterly be blended into Overture, a multiple vintage super cuvee.

Overture is in fact a homage to Bordeaux Blends. It is a classic Bordeaux blend with Cabernet Sauvignon making up around 70% of the wine, but also contains the five classic Bordeaux varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Its extra time in barrel before blending, gives it a greater elegance, with dark fruit flavours, smoke, toast and leather. It drinks beautifully young, hence its great restaurant attraction, but stands the test of time, brilliant after a decade or more. It is a superb expression of the Estate, which currently costs just over one third of the average price trading price of Opus One. The Estate are pushing the price forward and Overture can be expected to see a broad market increase, indeed there is considerably less Overture available and it is priced brilliantly for its quality.

It is worth mentioning that Overture has a superb groundswell in the Asian market. Very few cases are produced every year of Overture making its supply very stretched in the UK, a reason alone to purchase this wine and add it alongside your Opus One holdings. We have traditionally sold what little Overture we had to the On Trade or to Asia, but have increased our allocation enough to offer out today. The price is £550 per case of six, a superb purchase when we consider that Opus One 2014 already trades at £1,500 per case of six. We will be releasing Overture on allocation next year.

Mondavi Opus One “Overture” NV 6×75 – £550 IB

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