A One-Day Road Trip to Napa
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of touring the most famous wine region of California, the Napa Valley for a day.
I obviously had to stop by and try (for the first time as far as I was concerned) one of the most famous wines from one of the most famous wineries in the area.
As a Bordeaux-trained qualified winemaker, and having worked in some of the top wineries in Bordeaux myself, I was eager to discover the resulting style of a wine made in partnership between the Mondavi family and the French Rothschilds.
I loved the French + American flags in the entrance (see image of the winery’s front above), which naturally made me feel welcome 😉
Tasting & Reviewing 2012 Opus One
Despite my impromptu visit to Opus One winery’s cellar door, their kind staff gave me a warm welcome and offered me a “complementary glass of our latest release of Opus One“.
Here are my tasting notes for 2012 Opus One:
Nose is deep and very expressively fruity.
Intense fresh but very ripe blackberry aromas, black olive, dark cocoa and clove. It’s dark-smelling, complex, profound to smell. Extremely powerful but refined palate, absolute upfront fruity and oaky sheer power feel as soon as you put it in your mouth.
The body is full, balanced by a gripping tension-driving acidity.
Very dense smooth tannic structure. Impressive. Plenty of complex oaky notes, followed by expressive ripe berry fruit flavors. 95/100 pts
Check out in Video the Stunning Color of 2012 Opus One
— Julien Miquel #Wine (@JMiquelWine) August 11, 2016
Tasting & Reviewing 2010 Overture by Opus One
As a welcome bonus, I was also given to try a rather rare label made by Opus One winery, a wine made with prolonged maturation in barrel and blending several vintages.
The objective is to provide more complexity and deliver a wine that is approachable and ready-to-drink as soon as it is released.
This is what the winery says about it:
“Opus One produces a fine second wine called Overture. Since 1993, Overture has been crafted as a part of our relentless pursuit of quality for Opus One. Every acre of our estate vineyard is farmed with the attention to detail and singular focus required to produce Opus One. Nevertheless, in any given year, not all of the parcels from our estate are selected for the final blend of Opus One. When these wine lots are afforded additional time in barrel, in combination with the added flexibility of blending across multiple vintages, the final wine achieves a remarkable elegance and complexity that represents a superb expression of our estate. This is Overture.”
Here are my tasting notes for 2010 Overture:
2010-based overture blended with some 2009
The wine is bright red dens but not overly dark, a touch of orange evolution but still brightly youthful red. Powerful fruity nose, warm notes of ripe berry fruit, but also surprising stonefruit aromas, like warm apricot jam. It sounds heavy but it actually feels freshly fruity.
Spices and toasted notes (dark coca mainly).
Very nice upfront fruity palate, plenty of acidity on a much lighter approachable style than the Opus One Grand Vin.
A refined fruit-driven Bordeaux blend that’s ready to drink and enjoy right now. Score: 92/100 pts