This morning we welcome the release of Opus One 2018 which never fails to excite upon its annual September release and today is no exception with the arrival of the greatly anticipated 2018 vintage. The 2018 vintage is poised to be one of its most sensational efforts to date, with a near-perfect 99-point score from James Suckling, who rhapsodises, ‘Extremely perfumed and floral with lavender, lilacs and violets to the sweet, ripe berries, such as blackberries and blackcurrants. Some slate and graphite, too. It’s full-bodied, yet ever so balanced and refined, with super fine tannins that last for minutes. Fresh herbs, such as bay leaf and lemon grass highlight the dark fruit. The quality of tannin is exquisite with wonderful polish and refinement.” Lisa Perrotti-Brown of The Wine Advocate is equally enthused with awarding it one of her best ever scores of 98 Points, admiring how it, “soars out of the glass with bright, bold boysenberries, warm cassis and ripe, juicy black plums notes, plus emerging nuances of lilacs, oolong tea, cinnamon stick, tilled soil and black truffles. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with tightly wound layers of crunchy black fruits, supported by firm, grainy tannins and fantastic freshness, finishing with lifted fruitiness and on a lingering mineral note.” Jeb Dunnuck further elaborates with his stellar 97-point score, “This deep purple-hued effort leans to lively, fresher side of the vintage but has a brilliant, utterly classic style in its crème de cassis and blue-tinged fruit as well as notes of lead pencil, candied violets, damp earth, and chocolate-like nuances. With a Pomerol-like elegance and purity, it’s medium to full-bodied and has wonderful tannins, flawless balance, and a great finish.” It is available today at the terrifically compelling release price of £1,380 per case of 6.
The 2018 vintage enjoyed idyllic growing conditions with consistent weather and mild temperatures. This allowed for picture-perfect flowering and fruit set resulting in healthy yields and a beautifully balanced final wine with seamlessly layered flavours of fresh and juicy black fruit, accented with hints of orange zest, liquorice and dark chocolate. As demonstrated by the table below, Opus One consistently offers a brilliant vintage premium, with a consistent and attractive long-term price appreciation that repays its most loyal and patient collectors.
The production volumes of Opus One are similar to that Lafite and Mouton Rothschild at 25,000 cases per year, however, due to its immense global popularity the demand always outstrips supply upon its annual release. One needs only to compare its price today of £1380 per case of 6 to that of virtually any Bordeaux equivalent First Growths to understand why this has become such a hotly pursued wine, which is available on allocation each year. Opus One’s rise to global acclaim began with its first vintage in 1979, released in 1984 and at the time it was California’s most expensive wine at $50 per bottle. Its genesis is one of privilege, a joint venture between two wine giants and leaders in innovation, Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild.
Along with Opus One 2018, we are also pleased to be able to offer their second wine, Overture, which was devised as a complementary expression to Opus One. First released in 1993, this novel multi-vintage blend was fashioned to provide maximum pleasure with food and to be accessible younger for consumption within the family and for the restaurant trade. By blending various vintages of wine from the same vineyards as Opus One, they have succeeded in achieving a wine with a great consistency of quality and characteristic in each release. It has been brilliantly received in leading restaurants around the world, and as its demand has grown so high it is no longer sold exclusively to the restaurant trade. Today’s release has been awarded 93 Points by Jane Anson who notes, “A blend of the 2017 and (majority) 2018 vintages, this has a Californian generosity, but is firm in its tannic structure with softening raspberry and blueberry fruits. It really needs a little time to open in the glass, when a heather, peony and olive tapenade character comes out. “
Opus One approaches every parcel with the aim of including it within their flagship wine. However, in some vintages, a few parcels are set aside and afforded additional barrel time rather than being included in the grand vin. These parcels be included in the multiple vintage super cuvee Overture, a classic Bordeaux Blend with Cabernet Sauvignon making up around 70% of the wine, as well as containing the other classic Bordeaux varietals Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. The extra time in barrel before blending, allows a greater elegance, with dark fruit flavours and enticing notes of smoke, toast and leather. It drinks beautifully young, hence its great restaurant attraction, but can also stand the test of time with a decade or more in the bottle. It is available today at the price of £595 per case of 6 IB, a mere fraction of the average trading price of Opus One.
The winery is located in Oakville, one of the most central wine regions in the Napa Valley. The valley straddles the Mayacamas and Vaca Mountain ranges, which create cool yet extremely sunny conditions, perfect for high quality grape growing. Opus One is grown on densely planted vineyards, bounded by a state-of-the-art winery. The Estate’s buildings are defined by colonnades on either side, designed to blend in with the surrounding rolling hills and stylistically synthesise old and new world aesthetics, in the same way the wine combines the best features of Napa and Bordeaux. The limestone winery and the world beating wine have become a symbol and the apogee of great American winemaking.