Opus One is a Bordeaux-style blend, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon and depending on vintage also contains varying measures of Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec.
As should be expected with wines of this calibre, no expense is spared. The 170 acres are harvested by hand. The wine spends two to three weeks on skins and typically 18 months on new French oak.
Founded in 1978 as a joint venture between Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Château Mouton-Rothschild in Bordeaux and Robert Mondavi in the Napa Valley. The wine was formerly called napamedoc, the wine and the winery were named Opus One in 1982. 1979 was the first vintage, released in 1984.
The Opus One vineyards are made up of four parcels. Two sit in the western portion of the American Viticultural Area, or AVA, of Oakville–a subregion of Napa Valley. Two of the parcels—totalling 100 acres—are situated in the storied vineyard of To-Kalon, meaning ‘the place of highest beauty. There are two more parcels—Ballestra and River—that add up to 70 acres.