Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Allure and Formality of Opus One

I am not a wine connoisseur or even a knowledgeable wine enthusiast; but there are days after 12 hours of work I like to sip on a glass of red, listen to my current obsessed song and empty my mind. I, like others associate food, a trinket, place with a happy memory. Opus One's wine is one of those memories, which equals the allure.

Opus One is definitely pricey on the wine spectrum and I don't often indugle, which is probably why it is so much more special. The joint venture of Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe De Rothschild.

Opus One in Oakville, CA


The estate is located in Oakville, CA a hop and skip away from Napa Valley. They are located on St. Helena hwy, a main highway. The website states tours, wine tasting and purchase is only available through appointments. They conduct a $30 wine tour everyday at 10am and it includes a complimentary glass of wine.

The formality: I called to make an appointment and was told to drop by any time between the business hours of 10am to 4 pm. We approached the massive front doors and to your left is the reception desk. The large room with extremely high ceilings, echoing the sounds of high heels, roped stairways felt like a scene where a CIA agent is checking in at a pseudo company. After divulging a few personal information - my name and location I was given a "pass" to visit the Partner's room. Note: an appointment is really not needed.

Opus One in Oakville, CA $30 for one tasting

$30 Opus One tasting (after a few sips)


Upon entering, the wine pourer asked for my pass before she introduced the two wine available for tasting. The 2005 and 2006 Opus One are $30 a tasting.

Yes. One tasting. The price quote will stop you in your tracks.

However, I look at it this way; the 2005 vintage is $200 and the 2006 vintage is $195. A small price to enjoy life's small luxury versus springing for the whole bottle. I believe, luxury is not necessary but sometimes it is necessary to have a little luxury.

Opus One in Oakville, CAOpus One in Oakville, CA - sky terranceOpus One in Oakville, CA - sky terranceOpus One in Oakville, CA - the view from the sky terrance
Sky Terrance


I tasted both the 2005 and 2006 vintage. I personally prefer the 2005 because of the smooth, heavy, yet lightness with blackberries notes. The 2006 has a much more smokier and tannin aftertaste. The Partner's room is quiet, small with a couch on each side. We took advantage of the Sky Terrance since it was empty on a wet, cold weekday, a beautiful place to enjoy the wine, and watch a sunset.

The wine pourers were very friendly, despite reading other reviews about the snobby attitude. The wine pourers answered all my questions, detailed explanations and gave me a booklet on the entire history of Opus One's vintage.

Opus one - Overture My motive to visit was to purchase a few bottles of Overture, only sold at the estate and made from the same grapes as Opus One; currently priced at $65. At $65 the wine is saved for special dinners with family, some of our favorites - standing rib roast night, hot pot night, Chinese New Year or seafood night.

Opus One Winery
7900 St Helena Hwy
Oakville, CA 94562
(707) 944-9442

4 comments:

bananas. said...

oooh i need to try that. i've never had that before and i'm a big old wino.

foodhoe said...

that sounds fun and decadent!

Erika said...

Steep prices; but the atmosphere sounds divine. Definitely worth it!! :)

Food Gal said...

Oh my gawd -- $200 for a glass of the '05 vintage??? Yowza! That would definitely be one tasting where I wouldn't even think about spitting. Holy moly!

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