25 January 2012

Opus One 1999


It's taken me a while to get to a place where I felt able to write about what was truly an amazing bottle of wine: Opus One 1999.

Opus One has always hovered at the margins of my awareness of Napa wine, both alluring for its pedigree (Mondavi and Rothschild) and exciting for its unattainable prices (around $200 at retail most times I've seen it).  And yet, in Louisville I finally bit the bullet and bought a bottle at The Oakroom in Louisville, Kentucky.

After decanting, I finally got the wine, which was a deep blood red.  The nose was amazingly potent - tart fruits, an almost metallic minerality, and then, almost overwhelmingly, the aroma of black walnuts.  The scent was so strong it reminded me of playing beneath the one in my grandma's back yard when I was younger.

The first taste was of cool, bracing fruit, but it then transformed, passing through dry, minerally, slaty, and then on to a final taste of almond and oak.  A clean, herbal finish lingered afterward.

The Opus One followed two other bottles, one of white and one of red, shared among 12 people and several courses of meal, too involving to take notes on everything, but I made an exception for the Opus One.  It was an amazing bottle to share and enjoy.

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Books: Nearly finished with Believer Beware.

Bottles: Had a bottle of 2008 Chappellet Napa Cabernet last night which was delightful.

Writing: Having fun with a silly short story that is sort of purely for my own amusement and that of my friends.

Guitar: Guitar in shop while I'm in Memphis, though I did play around on my lap steel some in the few days I had at home.