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Opus One (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1996

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • RP 94
  • ST 92
  • V 90
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1.0 Not For Me

Winemaker Notes

A decreased berry set in May followed by sunny days and warm July nights brought the smaller-than-average crop of 1996 to maturity in mid-September. Offering hints of violets and mint on the nose, the 1996 Opus One shows intense flavors of blackberry, chocolate and roasted coffee. Its soft texture and deep, plush flavors are supported by a firm structure and elegant middle body. The 1996 imparts a persistently long finish that forecasts long bottle aging.

Blend: 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot, 3% Malbec

Critical Acclaim

RP 94
The Wine Advocate

This is one of the finest Opus Ones to date, offering a dark ruby/purple color, as well as a striking, intense bouquet of sweet licorice intermixed with blackberries, cassis, plums, and saddle leather. This seamless, full-bodied wine is more velvety-textured, opulent, and succulent than past vintages. The mid-palate is expansive and chewy. The long finish is filled with glycerin, ripe fruit, and sweet tannin.

ST 92
International Wine Cellar

Bright full ruby-red. Pungent black raspberry, leather, game, chocolate, espresso, pepper and fresh herbs. Juicy, bright and very concentrated, with crunchy currant, tobacco and dark chocolate flavors supported and amplified by a firm spine of acidity. Long on personality. Finishes with dusty tannins and excellent length.

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V 90
Vinous / Antonio Galloni

A total opposite of the 1995, the 1996 Opus One blasts from the glass with massive dark fruit, iron, scorched earth, graphite and new leather. The 1996 is one of the more virile, bombastic wines in this vertical. Plums, cloves, leather and tar all flesh out on the huge, imposing finish. Although a bit rustic and brooding, the 1996 is an outstanding wine if taken on its own terms. The finish is framed by substantial tannins and an element of burliness that is likely the result of a succession of heat spikes. In 1986 Opus One is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 3% Merlot and 3% Malbec.

Opus One

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Opus One, Napa Valley, California
Opus One
Opus One is a partnership founded by Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Chateau mouton Rothschild in Pauillac, France, and renowned Napa Valley vintner, Robert Mondavi. Producing luxury wines from its Napa Valley vineyards, the partnership made its first vintage in 1979 and has made wine at Opus one since 1991. The 2009 vintage is distributed in all 50 states and is sold in 65 countries worldwide.