Located in Napa Valley, California, Opus One was founded in 1980 as an ambitious joint venture between two of the world’s most esteemed winemaking figures - Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Chateau Mouton Rothschild in Bordeaux and Napa Valley wine pioneer Robert Mondavi. Together, the founders set out to create a Bordeaux-style blend based around Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon - a single wine dedicated to the pursuit of uncompromising quality. They named their project Opus One, a musical term attributed to a composition generally considered to be a composer’s first masterpiece.
First released in 1984, Opus One was the most expensive Californian wine of the time and achieved overnight critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. Nearly 40 years on, it remains one of California's most sought after super-premium wines.
The fruit from Opus One comes from the densely planted vineyards that surround the state-of-the-art, architecturally progressive winery in Oakville. The cabernet-dominant blend also contains smaller quantities of merlot, cabernet franc, petit verdot, and malbec. It is aged for 18 months in new French oak barrels and then rests for a further 18 months in bottle before release.
In keeping with the tradition of many great Bordeaux estates, Opus One produces a second label, Overture. Crafted from fruit sourced from the same estate vineyards, its name is another musical reference, meaning an orchestral piece at the beginning of a composition.