Opus One 1980

Decanter - - URUGUAY -

The first vin­tage of Opus One, the leg­endary joint ven­ture be­tween Baron Philippe de Roth­schild and Robert Mon­davi, was the 1979 from Mon­davi’s Oakville vine­yards in Cal­i­for­nia’s Napa Val­ley. The Es­tate Vine­yards now cover 69ha across four sep­a­rate parcels, com­pris­ing 81% Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon, 6% Mer­lot, 6% Caber­net Franc, 5% Petit Ver­dot and 2% Mal­bec. Head wine­maker since 2001 has been Michael Si­lacci. Over din­ner in the el­e­gant Opus One din­ing room in Rue Foy in Bordeaux we were served three seam­lessly tex­tured vin­tages and then the 1980, over­seen by Tim Mon­davi and Pa­trick Léon. 2013: an early har­vest in per­fect con­di­tions gave a black fruit-dom­i­nated wine more of el­e­gance than power, with a fine fu­ture (94/100pts, £261.67 (ib) Berry Bros & Rudd). 2010: a har­vest last­ing 30 days of­fered struc­ture and tan­nins, deep and com­plex fruit with earthy nu­ances, still burst­ing with en­ergy (97, £302.60 Berry Bros & Rudd). 2005: af­ter a slow-ripen­ing sea­son, the wine is now show­ing lovely tex­ture and bal­ance (96, £408 Crump Rich­mond Shaw). 1980: one of the coolest sea­sons on record, the acid­ity has kept this ex­tra­or­di­nary wine so young and vi­brant, with un­beat­able el­e­gance and class – a tri­umph (100pts).

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