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.
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.
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.
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.
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