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Nov 4, 2006 05:14 AM

Opus One with Organic Steak?


I have a bottle of 1991 Opus One. I'm thinking about drinking it with a Piedmontese NY Strip.

Will this wine work with an organic steak?

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  1. 91 Opus has passed it's Prime. I have probably tasted more than a dozen Bottles from 95 to 05'. In 05' the 91 was losing it's fruit. Instead of a Flavorful Steak , some Fine Cheeses maybe a better choice to not over power the wine. The best Opus for your Steak would be 96'which is still pretty intense.

    6 Replies
    1. re: russkar

      What a sad thing it is that a high-end wine like Opus One cannot age...

      1. re: wineguy7

        Few Calif Wines age, they are mostly made in a Lab and not permitted the time it takes to naturally age. In fact I see disappointment all the time at wine tastings. The French and Italian Wines on the other hand Age pretty well if they were well made to start with?

        1. re: russkar

          Who says high end CA wines can't age? I've had some wonderful older CA Cabs. At a recent dinner we had the '85 Joseph Phelps Insignia, which while it needed to be drunk once opened, was sublime and the '95 was fantastic. I've had some of the '94 Ridge MB lately and it is absolutely at it's prime. The 1993 Abreu is still singing and can go for another 7 or 8 years. And wines like the 1994 Dunn Howell Mountain haven't even reached their prime yet. In fact the '85 is still singing and has years of life left.

          1. re: dinwiddie

            I have had similar experiences. I've been fortunate enough to do a 30 year semi-vertical of both Robert Mondavi and J Phelps and all were drinking extremely well. The Phelps tasting was sans food, except for light gnoshes, while the Mondavi was with a full six course dinner.

            Just did a Meritage (not official, as all Cal products were not certified "Meritage" wines) vs. Bordeaux. We matched similar styles and vintages and the CalCabs were the winners, including an '89 Ridge MB. We had "heavy" appetizers with this tasting.

            I recently did a "Cabs of '85" tasting, and even some, that I thought surely had died, like the Jordan Sonoma (lighter style to begin with) showed extremely well.

            Now, I will say that aged Cabs might well be a personl palete taste, but if one appreciates what SOME of these wines become, please do not discount CalCabs.

            Recently had a '63 Inglenook Napa (back in the "good old days") and it was excellent.

            I still have most of a two-case lot of Beringer Howell Mtn. Bancroft Ranch '89 (not the best year for CA) Merlot, and the fruit is still noticeablely forward. I'd guess that this wine will still be drinking well over the next 10 years, though I doubt that my stock will last that long.

            Just my casual observations,

          2. re: russkar

            Amazing. Several weeks ago in the SF wine section they compared 5 CA cabs from '91 to 5 French cabs from the same year. Complete blind tasting. Seems all 5 of the CA cabs outscored all of the French which really doesn't amaze me at all. French wines are big time over hyped.

            I still have '91 Flora Springs, Silver Oak and Caymus, all are outstanding and haven't lost a thing. Store your wines correctly and they'll last just fine.

            Totally agree with dinwiddie, many of these wines are still "too yound."

            1. re: rtmonty

              Some Cal-Cabs (the minority) can age. The Opus isn't one of them.

              Blind and Double Blind tastings of old world and new world nearly ALWAYS favor the new world wines. There is a very good reason for this. New world wines are made primarily as cocktail beverages... the fruit is very bold and forward, and they taste great when drunk on their own. Old world wines are made as food accompaniment beverages, so they perform and taste the best when drunk with the proper food.

              Actually russkar didn't say that all cal-cabs can't age, he said, few. Believe me, I have hundreds of bottles of cal-cabs and am very familiar with this phenomena. My experience has been that most peak within 5 years and don't get much better, and there is significant loss of fruit after 10-12 years, sometimes sooner. Of course there are wines that are exceptions to this.

              As a general rule of thumb, my experience has been that if you want wines that can age for 20-50 years, you really need to focus on the old world stuff... and even then you have to know which ones can age, and how long they will be good for.

      2. I recently popped a 1989 Keenan Cab Franc and it was superb ! Personally though, I think aging wine is a bit more about sentimental reasons (the specific events (weddding, birth, etc.)in that vintage than about improving quality. Granted, there are exceptions, but I would rather have a vibrant young wine with character rather than wonder if the time is "perfect" to pull the cork on a $400 bottle only to be let down in learning that it's time had come and gone. I'll take a recent bottle of Owen Roe or Seghesio over most wines costing three times as much.