This blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Malbec aged 17 months in French oak is a strong effort offering creme de cassis, cedarwood, white chocolate and spice box. It possesses a Bordeaux-like personality, as one might expect since Opus One is owned by Baroness Philippe de Rothschild and the winemaking team comes primarily from Pauillac. The significant tannin in the wine provides a slight austerity, but this is a full-bodied, rich effort that marks the beginning of a period when Opus One finally began to live up to the enormous potential first announced in the late 1970s by the late Baron Philippe de Rothschild and the late Robert Mondavi. Although accessible now, the 2003 will benefit from another 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for two decades. (RP)
The 2003 Opus One comes across as a bit of a brute. Stylistically, the 2003 is rich, dark and quite powerful. The early signs of aromatic development suggest the 2003 won't be especially long-lived. As the huge, super-ripe fruit fades the tannins are likely to become even more prominent, exposing the challenging nature of a year in which phenolic ripeness was hard to achieve. The 2003 harvest stretched a full six weeks, from mid-September to early November, quite unusual by Napa Valley standards. In 2003 Opus One is 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Merlot and 1% Malbec. (AG)
Slightly blue note to the crimson. Quite a muted nose. Exotic and mineral nose. Intense. Very sweet and yet there is more acidity and freshness here. Good attack. Nice dry finish. Appetising. A parallel with 1993? (18/20 points)
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