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 creme 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.
(219, The Wine Advocate 29th Jun 2015)