Offering hints of violets and mint in the nose.
The 1996 Opus One shows intense flavors of blackberry, chocolate and roasted coffee. Its cashmere-like softness and deep, plush flavors are supported by a firm structure and elegant middle body. A remarkably balanced wine, the 1996 imparts a persistently long finish that forecasts long bottle aging.
The estate vineyards of Opus One, comprised of 4 parcels, sit in the western portion of the famed Oakville AVA. Two parcels, totaling 100 acres, are within the renowned To Kalon Vineyard. These are complemented by the combined 70 acres of the Ballestra and River parcels, which envelop the winery. In the vineyards, hand-harvesting and other traditional approaches are taken wherever they work best. When modern techniques benefit the winegrowing process, they are researched, evaluated and integrated into practice. A very dry and Spring rains in 1996 led to a decrease in vineyard yields, particularly on the Merlot and Malbec grape varieties. warm winter gave the vines an early start on the 2013 vintage. Flowering occurred under near-perfect conditions, which led to excellent fruit set throughout our Oakville estate vineyards and ensured a bountiful harvest The cool spring was followed by a very warm summer, when occasional heat waves caused rapid sugar development and faster-than-normal ripening of the fruit. Cooling considerably in September, the weather permitted long hang times, allowing tannin maturity to catch up.
An unusually compact harvest in September began on the 3rd and concluded on the 20th; the majority of the fruit was crushed in 12 very busy days.
Skin Contact: 37 days
Barrel Aging: 19 months in new French oak