Red

1996 Opus One

Red Bordeaux Blend

  • USA
  • California
  • Napa Valley
Drink between 2005 - 2015 (Edit)
CT93.1 236 reviews
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Community Tasting Notes 189

  • Cailles wrote: 99 points

    December 30, 2020 - I’ve had this Opus 1996 many times over the past years and it keeps getting better (and I keep buying more). This bottle was the best so far and one of the wines of 2020. The wines marries the elegance, tertiary aromatics of a great Bordeaux with Napa’s sweeter fruit profile but in case of the Opus 96 it still remains in the very fresh black and blue spectrum. There is so much tension, a perfectly soft structure and not a shred of excess weight. I’ve (along many others who tasted this gem in the past few years) rated it consistently between 95 to 97 points, but this bottle deserves a 99+ points rating as it had a bit more of everything.

    TN: Expressive nose with layers and layers of tertiary aromas with fresh and aged tobacco, herbs, forest floor, and dark fruits. Intense, highly precise and very harmonious. An even stronger and more complex palate with so much tobacco, forest floor, leather, black truffles, crushed rocks, herbs, spices on one hand, and all the balanced off by a ripe but in no way too ripe, very fresh and attractively sweet core of blackberries, blueberries, black currant along some chocolate notes. Creamy, fresh and light (but not weightless) texture with a wall of fine tannins and a high, well-integrated acidity. Very long and intense finish.

    Decanting: Decanted for one hours which was perfect. Bottles before needed more.

    1 person found this helpful Comment
  • sirpat00 Likes this wine: 97 points

    December 11, 2020 - Tasted blind. I had a hunch this could be a Dominus/Opus from the 90ies, but ended up guessing 82 / 85 right bank Bordeaux – once again wrong. Amazing aging notes of tobacco, a bag of dried foliage with a meaty and fleshy character. A beautifully fresh red berry fruit surrounding a more blue berries type center. Sweet toasty notes and elements of wood. Hints of spice. Perfectly balanced in the palate with fresh, bright berry fruit along with tobacco, leather and milk chocolate. Multi-faceted on the nose, layered palate with a velvety softness. Not much more you could wish for. I've had the 1996 5 times in the last 3 years with incredible consistency: 3x 96, 1x 95 and this time probably the best bottle yet with 97 (also the one with the most evolved aging notes) which put this on equal footing with the 1997.

    1 person found this helpful Comment
  • cephomer Likes this wine: 96 points

    December 8, 2020 - Drank from magnum over the past two nites. Didn't decant, and didn't need to. Very expressive nose of tobacco, leather & black fruit on the first nite, but faded slightly on day 2. Medium to full-bodied, still with excellent levels of black fruit--currant, blackberries and blueberries. With such excellent structure and balance, this wine was extremely well-preserved and likely would've lasted another few years easily. Wonderfully complex with notes of forest floor, tobacco, leather, lead pencil and a hint of cedar. Yes, this wine is very left bank Bordeaux-like (I would've had a hard time distinguishing it from Bdx, tho it might have a touch more sweet/ripe fruit than would a '96 Bdx equivalent). Fantastically long with soft, smooth tannins that are not yet quite resolved. This wine is smooth and elegant with an extremely pleasant mouthfeel, yet simultaneously muscular and powerful. It's a sexy, wonderfully complex and intense package that is drinking just great. I am really impressed that a wine of such character, flavor and complexity could come from Napa after some 24 years. (I would never have believed it if I hadn't experienced it myself). Fabulous bottle that I thoroughly enjoyed, and was extremely sad after I swallowed my last sip.
    Btw, had this wine once before in 2011 and it has improved dramatically since that time. Hence, a perfect example of why it's often best to leave wines like this alone for years, letting them accumulate bottle age enabling them to blossom into a beauty like this '96 surely became. Great wine!

    2 people found this helpful Comment
  • Andre Brattland wrote: 96 points

    August 23, 2020 - Really forward and open, but not on the aggressive side with nice ripe aromas of black currants, blackberries, sweet vanilla bean, hints of tobacco, light perfume and harmonious spices that really seduces! Pretty full-bodied wine with a fabulous mouthfeel - this is authority in American cotton. Nice ripening on the purple fruit, but still with this freshness and energy that makes it a living wine. Lovely long finish with clear blackberries and extinguished tobacco. Fabulous Opus! 96 points.

    2 people found this helpful Comment
  • Merckx wrote:

    August 4, 2020 - I’ve not been impressed w any of the Opus drank to date. Perhaps I except too much from the collaboration between the 2 vineyards

1 - 5 of 189 More notes

Pro Reviews 6

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Decanter

  • By Jane Anson
    Opus One vertical, 9/13/2019 (link)

    (Opus One, Napa Valley, Oakville, California, USA, Red) Subscribe to see review text.

Vinous

  • By Antonio Galloni
    Opus One – Past, Present and Future: 1979-2012 (Jun 2013) (link)

    (Opus One Opus One) Subscribe to see review text.

JancisRobinson.com

  • By Jancis Robinson, MW
    9/1/2004 (link)

    (Opus One Napa Valley Red) Subscribe to see review text.

Vinous

  • By Stephen Tanzer
    May/June 2000, IWC Issue #90 (link)

    (Opus One Proprietary Red Wine Napa Valley) Subscribe to see review text.

Decanter

  • By William Kelley
    (link)

    (Opus One, Napa Valley, Oakville, California, USA, Red) Subscribe to see review text.

RJonWine.com

  • By Richard Jennings
    9/6/2012 (link) 92 points

    (Opus One) Bricking dark red violet color; appealing, mature, tobacco, cedar, tart currant nose; mature, tobacco, cedar, tart currant palate; medium-plus finish

Wine Definition

  • Vintage 1996
  • Type Red
  • Producer Opus One
  • Varietal Red Bordeaux Blend
  • Designation n/a
  • Vineyard n/a
  • Country USA
  • Region California
  • SubRegion Napa Valley
  • Appellation Napa Valley
  • UPC Codes 011699009694, 753604061969, 753604062034, 753604062041, 753604062058, 753604062096, 753604062959, 753604062966, 753604062973, 753604062997, 8133064062966

Community Holdings

  • Pending Delivery 15 (0%)
  • In Cellars 3,332 (66%)
  • Consumed 1,668 (33%)

Food Pairing

Community Recommendations

Steak

Who Likes This Wine

95% Like It  39 votes

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