Opus One Napa Valley Red 2017
|California, Napa Valley
The 2018 Opus One is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, and the rest Merlot and Cabernet Franc. 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 plays in the finesse-driven end of the spectrum yet is concentrated and seamless, with serious length. It offers pleasure today but should benefit from 4-5 years in the cellar, and my money is on it evolving for 30 years or more.
The 2018 Opus One is incredibly elegant and polished, right out of the bottle. Silky tannins and lifted, perfumed aromatics add to an impression of finesse that distinguishes the 2018 from some of the preceding vintages in a pretty big way. It will be interesting to see if the 2018 gains body with a bit of time in bottle. It is pretty rare for Opus One to be so approachable at this stage.
The fruit is decidedly restrained in style, without the vivid punch typical of the vintage, but the gently mulled currant, cherry and bitter plum flavors are well-delineated and persistent, while notable savory, thyme and tobacco leaf notes play a prominent role alongside. There's a racy beam of acidity piercing through it all and a lingering iron note on the finish. An excellent example of the style. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Drink now through 2036. 32,400 cases made.