This famous wine, first created by the late Baron Philippe de Rothschild and the late Robert Mondavi, started off life as a very good, but rarely exceptional wine. Over the last ten or more years, the administration at Mouton Rothschild, particularly the team led by Philippe Dhalluin, has truly pushed the level of quality to the point where this is clearly one of the great wines of Napa. And after so many years, it represents the pinnacle of French viticultural knowledge combined with that of California and Napa’s Shangri La-like microclimate. The 2005 Opus One, a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec, has a ruby/purple color and a beautiful, sweet nose of créme de cassis and spring flowers. Complex and medium to full-bodied, with silky tannin and superb purity and balance, this is exactly what Opus One was meant to be when it was first proposed. Of course, it is a popular wine to criticize, but the quality has never been better, and certainly 2005 is a beauty. It is reaching full maturity at ten years, but I think there is still another 10-15+ years of upside potential in this wine. It is full-bodied, opulent and, dare I say, delicious. Given its popularity and brand recognition, it’s nice to know that even at a major steak house you can probably find this wine and be thrilled to buy it and drink it. (RP)
Deep, saturated ruby-red. Explosive nose combines currant, plum, dried cranberry and minerals, plus some suggestions of very ripe fruit. Plush, dry and classic; more minerally than fruity in the mouth, with complicating notes of herbs, tobacco leaf and dark chocolate. Not a particularly fleshy style; in fact, this very youthful wine is still a bit unyielding. Finishes with substantial dusty tannins and terrific subtle energy, a hint of orange peel adding lift. (ST)
A dark, implosive wine, the 2005 Opus One comes across as brooding and very much closed in on itself. Tar, graphite, menthol, licorice and plums inform the powerful, structured finish. This is the most massive, tannic Opus One in recent memory. The blend is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec. 93+ (AG)
Sage, bay leaf, mint, plum, and forest floor on the nose. Full bodied, with a solid core of fruit and a nice chewy finish.
88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec. Maceration for 29 days, aged in French oak for 18 months. Rainy May, and a cool summer. Harvest not finished until the beginning of November. Tasted in magnum. Very dark glowing crimson. Fresh and racy. Quite zingy. 2005 comes the closest to his 2000 vintage ideal - a cool year. Very refreshing. Lovely refined silky tannins. Great lift. Wonderful balance and already delicious. Drink until 2022. 18/20 Points (JR)
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