Harvard Varsity Club – 5th Annual HVC Online Auction
Auction Ends: Nov 26, 2019 09:00 PM EST

Wine & Spirits

2016 Opus One Proprietary Red Napa Valley

Item Number
252
Estimated Value
$365 USD
Sold
$360 USD to sceabf66c
Number of Bids
15  -  Bid History

Item Description

2016 Opus One Proprietary Red Napa Valley (donated by Wineaccess.com)

The Wine Access Story:

Opus One. The legendary partnership between Bordeaux First Growth Mouton Rothschild and Robert Mondavi solidified Napa as a powerhouse wine region and global leader in modern winemaking. After 15 years of connecting people and places through the world?s best wines, we are overjoyed to share our first-ever allocation of Opus One?s signature Napa Valley red, direct from the winery?s estate cellar in Oakville. 

Robert Parker?s Wine Advocate praised the 97+-point 2016, saying it has a ?harmoniousness that is truly difficult to resist.? It boasts an inky ruby hue with elegant and polished aromas of crushed red and blue fruit, baking spice, and woodsy herbs. We fell in love with its plush mouthfeel, which is dominated by blackberry and cassis that coat the mouth with a creamy texture before accents of sage, black olives, dark chocolate, and espresso emerge. This is a wine that will be a centerpiece of any collection.

In August, when we made the short drive to Opus One with the hope of securing an allocation of this legendary wine, we were greeted by winemaker Michael Silacci, the first solo winemaker in the history of Opus One, and a man who was deeply connected to both Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Robert Mondavi themselves.

Wearing muddy boots and a crisp Panama hat, Silacci?s larger-than-life personality instantly put us at ease, and he dedicated a few hours to educating (and entertaining) the Wine Access team at Opus One?s stunning property. We expected technical details and jargon, but Silacci charmed us with an endless stream of pitch-perfect analogies, insightful tangents, and quotations that ranged from Sixties-spiritual (?Live moments.? - Ram Dass) to Nineties hip-hop (?If you don?t know, now you know.? - Notorious B.I.G.).

Our conclusion: No matter your preference in metaphors or music, opening, pouring, and indulging in Opus One is a singular pleasure. After tasting nearly a dozen vintages, the spectacular lineup highlighted the wine?s exquisite and graceful ageability. While each release is a time capsule for the vintage, Opus One has a remarkable throughline of pitch-perfect quality and complexity that we rarely see replicated in Napa, Bordeaux, or beyond. Even after tasting legendary vintages like 2012 and 2014, we couldn?t stop raving about the 2016, which epitomizes Opus: It?s full-bodied, opulent, and impeccably balanced.

The Opus One story began when Baron Philippe de Rothschild (of Bordeaux First Growth Mouton Rothschild) conceived of a Bordeaux-Napa Valley partnership. When Rothschild met Robert Mondavi in 1970, he knew he had his man. Eight years later, America?s most regal wine was on its way to the world. 

The two luminaries? philosophy was simple from the beginning: Opus One would be a classic Bordeaux-style wine, it should reflect the partnership between the Mondavi and Rothschild families, and it should be different and unique. Over the last 30 years, their carefully chosen team has mapped the Opus One vineyards down to each vine. They?ve pulled yeast samples off of the property?s riverside trees. They show up at 3 am, night after night, when it?s time to harvest, and masterfully translate that into the bottle in an incomparable wine. The result is the wine that represents Napa Valley to the world.

Today, we invite you to taste it. 

Wine Advocate: 97 Points

A blend of 77.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 8% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1.5% Malbec, the Opus One 2016 Proprietary Red Wine was recently bottled in July and August 2018. Very deep purple-black, the nose reveals profound notions of chocolate-covered cherries, crème de cassis, blueberry compote and licorice with touches of tobacco, cedar chest, Sichuan pepper, eucalyptus and violets. Full-bodied, super concentrated and packed with black and blue fruits, the palate is built like a brick house with firm, ripe, finely grained tannins and oodles of freshness, finishing long and perfumed. This a very decadent expression of Opus One with a provocatively effortless harmoniousness that is truly difficult to resist. 97+ Call it a hat trick: Opus One knocks it out of the park with three excellent, if very different, takes on the the last string of vintages: 2015, 2016 and 2017. 2016 is the vintage winemakers can't remember because it was so uneventful. "We had plenty of rain in the early part of the year," commented Opus One winemaker Michael Silacci, "followed by an early budbreak. We were able to pick fairly regularly with an even flow in the cellar." 

Item Special Note

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