overtureOur literature is full of epigrams about the virtues of age—“The best is yet to be”, “Old age hath yet his honor and his toil”, “With age comes wisdom”. Alas, none of them are true of persons, only of wine.

With its soft tannins, Opus One’s “second wine” is approachable now and was clearly made to be consumed young. But most quality red wines—especially Bordeaux varietals—will benefit from some aging to get all the components to come together. This  one was opened 2-3 years too early.

The nose shows sweet vanilla, black cherry and cassis wrapped around a core of tobacco. With aeration some loamy earth appears; decanting is recommended. There is excellent depth and clarity but it is not as complex as I had expected for a wine at this price.

Deeply concentrated dark fruit gives way to an intense mid-palate that shows licorice but tastes excessively woody. On the plus side of medium body, rich and round yet lithe and lively in the mouth with plenty of acidity, it will not achieve the characteristic velvet texture until the oak and acid become more integrated.  Tannins are very ripe and very fine. They don’t grip but do propel a very long powerful finish.

The alcohol is nicely done; never a distraction.

Overture is a blend of all the Bordeaux varietals, apparently including some juice held back from earlier vintages—hence the lack of a vintage designation on the label. It was purchased in 2013.

I recently tasted the flagship Opus One from 1993. It was beautifully preserved, still opulent, fresh and vibrant, among the best Napa wines I’ve tasted and a legitimate rival of Bordeaux Premier Crus. I doubt that the Overture will age like Opus One’s flagship. I wouldn’t hold the Overture more than 6-8 years, but it still needs a few years to develop.

It reminded me of a band in their final rehearsal before a big show. All the parts are there and there is no discord among them but the whole doesn’t sing until show time. There is nothing to replace what age can do for a wine.

I would like to say the same about persons but I have my doubts.


Score: 92

Price: $143

Alc: 14.5 %