Aromas of cassis, cloves, and roasted almonds? What?!?
May 2, 2010 11:48 AM   Subscribe

Long-shot wine snobbery filter: Has anyone out there had both the 1997 and 1999 Opus One, and if so, can you give your opinion about the two?

I have a friend who had the Opus One 1999 a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it. I am a non-drinker and therefore a wine moron. I would like to buy a bottle as a gift, and in the process of locating it also found a bottle of Opus One 1997, which also had high ratings. It was mentioned by one person (in reviews) that the wine may have degraded a bit and was not worth drinking. So, if anyone is a wine aficionado and has an opinion or advice about buying wines of this sort (kind of pricey) I am looking for any helpful info. Would it be worth buying or not? For those who have had both wines mentioned, is one far better than the other, are they equal, etc.? Any suggestions for a wine that is just as fantastic?
posted by bolognius maximus to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
look here

I would have said eBob in the past was a good source, but non plus. Maybe post this question at Wine Berserkers or something as well.
posted by JPD at 11:59 AM on May 2, 2010

1997 was a spectacular vintage. I tried that wine young, and it was impenetrable. I've never had the 1999, but a well kept bottle of 1997 should *just* be coming into its own. It was huge.

Jancis Robinson did a vertical of all Opus 1 vintages in 2004, reported here:

For what it's worth, she rates the 1997 as drinkable "2008-2020."

Alternatives of that stature if you want to go with a 1999? French. Margaux or St. Emilion.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:22 PM on May 2, 2010

The 2000s of chateau margaux and St. Emilion are fantastic. Personally, I think Opus one is overrated, over priced and pretentious, but what do I know.
posted by TheBones at 12:43 PM on May 2, 2010

Another vote for Chateau Margaux - I work for a wine distributor and my 70 year old boss, who owns the company and has been in the business for thirty five years, recently referred to it as "a hell of a bottle of wine."
posted by something something at 1:14 PM on May 2, 2010

oh yeah for the 250 - 300 bucks a bottle this is going to cost you there are lots of things that someone who likes modern napa valley stuff that is better then Opus One.

Maybe a southern rhone from Guigal or something like that? Hard to give a recc as I personally don't like this sort of wine.
posted by JPD at 1:15 PM on May 2, 2010

Well, a southern Rhone is going to be mostly syrah and grenache, so really different from the proprietary cabernet/merlot/cab franc blend of an Opus One.

There's a ton of great 2007 Napa cabs in the 100-200 range. Here's a quick and dirty rating of many of them.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:40 PM on May 2, 2010

I did a decade shift. The last link is for 2007s, which will be drinkable for real starting in about 3-4 more years.

Best 1997 I remember was Silver Oak. I doubt it's easy to find one now.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:44 PM on May 2, 2010

Well, a southern Rhone is going to be mostly syrah and grenache, so really different from the proprietary cabernet/merlot/cab franc blend of an Opus One.

points is points.
posted by JPD at 2:01 PM on May 2, 2010

Response by poster: Wow! Thanks for the responses. I will check out all of the recommendations. Still to other thoughts, but again, thank you!
posted by bolognius maximus at 2:06 PM on May 2, 2010

I've had them both, but not next to each other. In fact, it was several years apart. But given that, I don't recall either one being a stinker. If I were faced with the same decision you are, I'd just pick the cheaper one (if I'm trying to be cheap) or the older one (if I'm trying to be pretentious).
posted by jeffamaphone at 5:27 PM on May 2, 2010

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