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Oct 26, 2009 05:48 AM

TN: 2000 Opus One

I know that there are many non-believers out there who claim to hate Opus One, and I attribute a lot of this to the inflated price. I was lucky enough to pick up a few bottles of this wine a few years ago for around $70, and I have to say that for the money, this was one hell of a great wine! I grabbed this from the cellar where we hide all of our “gems,” as a pre-anniversary celebration bottle, since our anniversary falls during the week this year. This had about 45 minutes to warm up on the way to Fiddleheads in Jamesburg, NJ, and was popped and poured. Gorgeous deep garnet classic cabernet color in the glass, thinning towards the rim made this wine still look very youthful. As a lot of you know, 2000 is not known to be a stellar vintage for the Napa Valley, but this wine showed to prove this wrong, as have some of the other big hitters from this vintage. On the nose, this reminded me of a nice Bordeaux with some cassis, tobacco, earth, blueberry, and cherry, with the smallest hint of band aid / brett. On the palate, all kinds of red cherry, blackberry, pomegranate, and raspberry jam. Off vintage my foot, this wine has a great fruity, jammy, and velvety structure, with a bit of oak on the medium finish. All in all, this was a pleasure to drink, and I couldn’t think of a better wine that I expected so little from to date. This was darn good, and I wish I would have bought more at this price. Thankfully we still have one left that we’ll revisit 5 years down the road. For now, feel free to pop one of these, as I believe it is drinking in a beautiful place. After drinking an ’02 Insignia just a few weeks ago, I think that this wine would give it a run for its money, and is 94 points worthy. Cheers! -mJ

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  1. Wow! your TN differ wildly from the Guru's done in 2003 ( who btw gave it an 84 rating ):

    "The 2000 Opus One marks the third straight vintage where this winery has produced a surprisingly feeble offering. Similar to several previous vintages, the 2000 reveals tremendously intense, horsy, sweaty saddle leather/locker room aromas, and lacks concentration. Neophytes might find some charm in this medium-bodied red’s softness, sweet tannin, and easy-going red and black currant fruit. However, there is little depth or finish in this 2000. The cheesy aromas are not expected in a wine that costs $150. To date, this is the biggest disappointment of the vintage.
    I tasted this wine twice, once at someone else’s expense, and once from a bottle I purchased in Napa. Both tastings were consistent. This wine gets my vote as one of Napa Valley’s most over-priced offering."

    My religion forbids OO, therefore I'll never find out who's right. Oh well!

    4 Replies
    1. re: RicRios

      I'd drink buy this wine again in a heartbeart at the price i paid for it as it is drinking in such a nice place. Who knows, maybe it's a fluke, and maybe when we revisit the next bottle in a few years it'll be a dog. All I know is that right now it is in a beautiful stage! Loved it, and this coming from someone who has never been impressed with Opus One... -mJ

      1. re: njfoodies

        Have you had other vintages of Opus One to compare against?
        Any from 1997, 1998 or 1999? Or any vintages later than 2000?

        2000 was truly a crap vintage in Napa Valley. The reviews
        describe the 2000 OO as being thin compared to other OO vintages, but still
        surprising in light of the horrible harvest. Which would be consistent with
        Napa Valley for that year.

        But what the heck. You enjoyed it. Happy Anniversary.

        1. re: maria lorraine

          2000 was indeed not the best vintage, as I stated above in my tasting note, but I have found that some of the heavy hitters, ie Insignia, Opus, Colgin, Shafer HSS, Herb Lamb, etc. Seems like the big dogs have come out OK after almost 10 years in the bottle.

          I don't know for sure what other Opus we've drank over the years, but obviously the '97 was great, and I thought the '99 was stellar as well. Call me nuts, but upon last drink, I prefered the '99 over the '97. Haven't had anything after 2000 as this is when we stopped buying this wine. With the now inflated pricing, I would much rather spend the money on cheaper bottles, that I feel are better crafted, ie Scarecrow, Maybach, etc.

          Just my 2 yen. -mJ

      2. re: RicRios

        Opus One has a tendancy to go through a "dumb" stage. However, once it comes out of this stage, the wine shines.

        Thanks for the review, I have several 2000 OO in my cellar and I may need to try one soon.

      3. Thanks njfoodies!

        We've got one bottle left of the 2000 - might have to open it soon!

        edit - I just popped onto Cellartracker to see what some of the reviews were and there was this tasting note! Nice to meet you mj!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Cookiefiend

          Seems like many on the wine boards disagree with my note, but what can I say? I sniffed and tasted, and I wrote exactly what I thought about it. Maybe it is just because I am new to the wine game...LOL! Only kidding.

          I think the wine is drinking in a great place, but call me crazy. Maybe it was the perfect storage conditions, I have no idea. All I know is that these bottles have been kept at 55 degrees since we picked them up, and haven't been moved other than their once a month bottle turning!

          And for the record, yes, CellarTracker is am amazing tool that I could never live without! Such an awesome resource, so kudos to Eric for creating it! -mJ

        2. While I have never been a big Opus One fan, I have found few that were less than very pleasant to consume, unlike others. I have just enjoyed others in that price range more. I've had many with age, and many young, and all have been OK. Were each worth the $? Maybe not, but then life is short. Still, I have a slightly broken vertical in the cellar from the '94 to the '02, including a few mags, and a dbl-mag picked up at auction. Bad investment? Who knows, but they WERE for good causes, so I do not care.

          Thanks for the TN's.