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Opus One

Though Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild first met in 1970, it wasn't until 1979 that Mouton-Rothschild's winemaker, Lucien Sionneau and Timothy Mondavi made the first vintage of Opus One at the Robert Mondavi Winery. Grapes were sourced from Robert Mondavi's Q Block (part of the To-Kalon Vineyards) as well as The River Parcel. This wine has a strong history when it comes to auction: a single case of the joint venture wine (not yet named Opus One) sold for $24,000 at the first Napa Wine Auction-at the time, the highest price ever paid for a California Wine. In 1984, the wine's first two vintages, 1979 and 1980, were released simultaneously.

Following these beginnings, the wine has continued to have success in the national arena. The reason for this is not the cachet that comes with the brands "Mondavi," and "Mouton," but the effort that goes into producing wines of uncompromising quality. Grapes are hand sorted, barrels are frequently racked, no mechanized pumps are used to move the wine, and French barrels are never reused. In typical left bank fashion, Opus One is a Cabernet Sauvignon dominated wine, with Merlot and Cabernet being judiciously blended in to achieve harmony.

Opus One--Vintage 1981
Napa Valley
Level: top shoulder; slightly depressed cork
In original wooden case
1 double-magnum per lot

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