Locating Wines from Pride, Opus One & Ridge Vineyards

Locating Wines from Pride, Opus One and Ridge Vineyards

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner we want to start chatting about “Special Occasion Wines.”  These wines come from wineries that have stood the test of time and are steeped in tradition.  This post is the first in a series and will focus on wines produced by Opus One, Pride Mountain Vineyards and Ridge Vineyards.  In the case of Ridge Vineyards we only discuss the Montebello, even though they have a number of other fantastic wines.  The downside with these wines is that they are expensive.

Below is a snapshot of where you can find these wines in Bay Area Restaurants.  You will see that we provide a summary of the best values by vintage date.  We did this because certain years have personal significance (birth of a child, engagement, wedding, graduation, passing the bar exam, climbing Mt. Everest, finishing a marathon or winning the Super Bowl), and we feel that that having a great bottle of wine is the best way to look back and reflect on that event.

As with all VinoServant reviews, you will see the price at the restaurant followed by the mark-up over retail (2008 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello | $250 | 1.7x | This translates into a retail price of $144).  Case production varies between vintage (1,700 to 5,000) and that is why the mark-ups at restaurants are somewhat higher.

VINOSERVANT’S TOP VALUES

2008 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello | $250 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.7x

2008 Opus One | $225 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.1x

2008 Pride Mountain Vineyards, Napa & Sonoma, Cabernet Sauvignon | $95 at Boulevard | 1.3x

2008 Pride Mountain Vineyards, Sonoma, Cabernet Franc | $110 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.5x

2008 Pride Mountain Vineyards, Napa & Sonoma, Merlot | $75 at Los Altos Grill | 1.3x

2007 Opus One | $200 at Waterfront Restaurant | 1.0x

2007 Pride Mountain Vineyards, Napa & Sonoma, Merlot | $79 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.3x

2006 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon | $220 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.8x

2006 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet MAGNUM | $290 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.2x

2005 Opus One | $175 at The House of Prime Rib | Below Retail

2004 Opus One | $185 at The House of Prime Rib| Below Retail

2003 Opus One | $195 at The House of Prime Rib | Below Retail

2002 Opus One | $230 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.0x

2001 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon | $400 at Boulevard | 1.8x

2000 Opus One MAGNUM | $650 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.4x

1997 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon | $375 at Boulevard | 2.0x

1997 Opus One | $350 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.1x

1997 Opus One MAGNUM | $650 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.0x

1994 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon | $375 at Boulevard | 1.6x

1993 Opus One | $425 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.7x

Breakdown by Vintage

2008 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello

  • $250 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.7x | TOP PICK
  • $290 at The Plumed Horse | 2.0x
  • $595 MAGNUM at The Plumed Horse | 2.2x

2008 Opus One

  • $135 (1/2 bottle) at House of Prime Rib | 1.3x
  • $225 at House of Prime Rib | 1.1x | TOP PICK
  • $325 at Boulevard | 1.6x
  • $345 at Waterbar | 1.7x
  • $357 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.75x
  • $395 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.9x
  • $395 at Quince | 1.9x
  • $425 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.0x
  • $430 at The Plumed Horse | 2.0x
  • $430 at Bourbon Steak | 2.0x
  • $433 at RN74 | 2.0x

2008 Pride Mountain Vineyards, Napa & Sonoma, Cabernet Sauvignon 

  • $95 at Boulevard | 1.3x | TOP PICK
  • $125 at La Mar | 1.7x

2008 Pride Mountain Vineyards, Sonoma, Cabernet Franc

  • $110 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.5x | TOP PICK

 

2008 Pride Mountain Vineyards, Napa & Sonoma, Merlot

  • $75 at Los Altos Grill | 1.3x | TOP PICK
  • $97 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.6x
  • $105 at Boulevard | 1.8x
  • $125 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.1x

 

2007 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

  • $240 at The Plumed Horse | 2.4x
  • $250 at Boulevard | 2.5x
  • $285 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.8x

2007 Opus One

  • $200 at Waterfront Restaurant |1.0x | TOP PICK
  • $300 at House of Prime Rib |1.5x
  • $350 at Jardiniere | 1.8x
  • $400 at Bourbon Steak | 2.0x

 

2007 Pride Mountain Vineyards, Napa & Sonoma Merlot

  • $79 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.3x | TOP PICK

2006 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

  • $220 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.8x | TOP PICK
  • $265 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.1x
  • $290 MAGNUM at House of Prime Rib | 1.2x | TOP PICK

 

2005 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

  • $290 at The Plumed Horse | 1.9x
  • $310 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.1x
  • $590 MAGNUM at The Plumed Horse | 1.9x

 

2005 Opus One

  • $175 at The House of Prime Rib | Below Retail | TOP PICK

 

2004 Opus One

  • $185 at House of Prime Rib | Below Retail | TOP PICK

2003 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

  • $260 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.2x

 

2003 Opus One

  • $195 at The House of Prime Rib |Below Retail | TOP PICK
  • $900 DOUBLE MAGNUM at The House of Prime Rib |

 

2002 Opus One

  • $230 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.0x | TOP PICK

 

 

2001 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

  • $400 at Boulevard | 1.8x | TOP PICK

 

2000 Opus One

  • $650 (Magnum) at House of Prime Rib |1.4x | TOP PICK

1999 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

  • $320 at The Plumed Horse | 2.4x
  • $375 at Boulevard | 2.8x
  • $446 at Spruce | 3.3x

1999 Opus One

  • $375 at House of Prime Rib |1.7x

 

1997 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

  • $375 at Boulevard | 2.0x | TOP PICK
  • $425 at The Plumed Horse | 2.3x
  • $446 at Spruce | 2.4x

 

1997 Opus One

  • $795 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.6x

 

1996 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

  • $440 at The Plumed Horse | 2.1x
  • $500 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.4x

1996 Opus One

  • $1,200 MAGNUM at Plumed Horse |
  • $695 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.6x

 

1995 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

  • $446 at Spruce | 2.8x

1994 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

  • $375 at Boulevard | 1.6x | TOP PICK
  • $460 at The Plumed Horse | 1.9x

 

1993 Opus One 

  • $425 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.7x | TOP PICK

 

1992 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

  • $470 at Spruce | 2.0x
  • $525 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.3x
  • $1,200 MAGNUM at The Plumed Horse | 2.6x

 

1990 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

  • $495 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.3x

 

 

2008 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $144 Average Price via Wine – Searcher & Magnum $270 at JJ Buckley

Rating: Wine Advocate 97+

  • $250 at Harris Restaurant | 1.7x | TOP PICK
  • $290 at Plumed Horse | 2.0x
  • $595 MAGNUM at The Plumed Horse | 2.2x

97+ points Wine Advocate: The 2008 Monte Bello is striking. It is a decidedly muscular Monte Bello endowed with layers of dark fruit. Tobacco, mint, asphalt and crushed rocks develop in the glass, adding tons of complexity and finesse. A long, saline finish rounds things out beautifully. In 2008 the cold growing season stretched into October and the wine definitely has the feel of a cool vintage. The spring frost and the second year of drought conditions lowered yields significantly. Yields were just 1.25 tons per acre on average, but some of the older vineyards came in at less than 1 ton per acre. The balance of fruit, tannin and structure is simply extraordinary, but the wine needs time, most likely lots of it. In 2008 the blend is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2038.

Winemaker’s Notes: In January, seventeen Cabernets and four Merlots were combined; in May we added a structured Cabernet and an elegant Merlot. Two years of limited rainfall, and the resulting stress, produced a wine of amazing depth. Its complex secondary characteristics will develop over the next ten to twenty-five years.  Limestone sub soils, cool climate, low yields, natural fermentations, and our undivided attention have produced fifty vintages of exceptionally long lived wines. The distinctive character of the world’s great wines has always been determined by their site – by nature, not by man.Blend: 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot.  Alcohol 13.3%.

2007 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $100 at Napacabs & $124 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 92+

  • $240 at The Plumed Horse | 2.4x
  • $250 at Boulevard | 2.5x
  • $285 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.8x

92+ points Wine Advocate: A retaste of the flagship wine, the 2007 Monte Bello (a blend from this famous estate of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, and 2% Cabernet Franc) reveals a dense ruby/purple wine with a floral, blueberry, and earthy cassis nose and elegant mid-weight flavors with impressive purity and classicism. There is good acidity, firm tannin, and modest alcohol (13.1%). This is not the most concentrated or powerful Monte Bello, but one built on finesse and elegance. According to the back label, only 41% of the production made it into this wine from the 103-acre estate vineyard. Give this wine another good 5-7 years of bottle age and drink it over the following 20-25 years.

Winemaker’s Notes: 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc Cassis, violets, blackberry. Wet stone, espresso, notes of sweet oak. On entry, ripe mountain fruit, licorice, complex minerals. Youthful and lively, with firm acid and elegant chalky tannins. Captivating finish.

2006 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: Magnum $250 at K&L Wine Merchants & $124 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 94

  • $220 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.8x | TOP PICK
  • $265 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.1x
  • $290 MAGNUM at House of Prime Rib | 1.16 | TOP PICK

94+ points Wine Advocate: “While it is eclipsed by the brilliance of the 2005, the 2006 Monte Bello (68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and 2% Cabernet Franc) is a very strong effort. Its dense purple color is followed by copious aromas of creme de cassis, licorice, spice box, and a touch of oak. Well-balanced, dense, pure, layered, and rich, its big, rich style is similar to the 2003. This cuvee should keep for 25-30 years in a cool cellar.

2005 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $149 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 97+

  • $290 at The Plumed Horse | 1.9x
  • $310 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.1x
  • $590 MAGNUM at The Plumed Horse | 1.9x

97+ points Wine Advocate: Composed of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, and 2% Cabernet Franc, the 2005 Monte Bello should be one of the all-time greats made at this estate. It offers a dense purple color, an extraordinary bouquet of spring flowers, blueberries, creme de cassis, black fruits, and a hint of oak. It also has an unctuous texture. As with all rich wines, the oak component plays a complementary role in the wine’s nuances. A seamless integration of acidity, wood, tannin, and alcohol is found in this rich, elegant, pure, dense beauty. There is a certain accessibility to the 2005 that is unusual by Monte Bello’s standards, and it will age effortlessly for 25+a years.

2003 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $118 Average Price via Wine – Searcher & $105 at Belmont Wine Exchange

Rating: Wine Advocate 95+

  • $260 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.2x

95+ points Wine Advocate: The 2003 Monte Bello goes from strength to strength. A blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, and 7% Petit Verdot, it exhibits a dense opaque purple color as well as a big, sweet nose of creme de cassis, blackberries, and subtle smoke and new oak in the background. Full-bodied and concentrated with beautiful texture, purity, and depth, this powerful Monte Bello should be exceptionally long-lived. It will hit full maturity in 10-15 years, and should last for 30 years.

2001 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $223 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 99

  • $400 at Boulevard | 1.8x | TOP PICK

99 points Wine Advocate – tasted June 2011: A resoundingly great effort from this iconic producer, Ridge’s 2001 is a spectacular, still young but promising wine. Interestingly, 60% of the production from the winery’s 108 acre Monte Bello Vineyard made it into the 2001’s final blend (their 40th anniversary, by the way). The unusual blend is 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, a whopping 36% Merlot, and 8% Petit Verdot. It also carries 14.2% alcohol, which is high for this estate. On the back label, the conservative Paul Draper writes that “5-8 years of bottle age will bring generous rewards, and 20 years will bring full maturity.” At age 10, it is still an infant in terms of development, and I would not be surprised to see this 2001 last 40 years. A dense ruby/purple color is accompanied by extravagant, generous aromas of pen ink, lead pencil shavings, spice box and black fruits. The wine is full-bodied and silky textured, but secondary nuances have not yet begun to develop as it is still very primary, tasting more like a 3-4 year old Monte Bello than one that is ten years of age. Nevertheless, it reveals spectacular concentration, a voluptuous texture, a rare opulence for a Ridge Monte Bello, and an incredible finish. The upside is enormous and this cuvee may prove somewhat atypical due to the huge percentage of Merlot in the final blend and the higher than normal alcohol. But make no mistake about this Monte Bello – it is a great wine. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2040.

1999 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $133 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 92

  • $320 at The Plumed Horse | 2.4x
  • $375 at Boulevard | 2.8x
  • $446 at Spruce | 3.3x

92 points Wine Spectator: A wine of great balance, finesse and grace. Well-focused, the ripe, tart, rich blackberry and currant fruit is intense yet elegant, picking up earth, mineral and sage notes, and finishing with fine, well-integrated tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2012. 5,679 cases made. –JL

1997 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $187 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 90 to 91 

  • $375 at Boulevard | 2.0x | TOP PICK
  • $425 at The Plumed Horse | 2.3x
  • $446 at Spruce | 2.4x

90 to 91 points Wine Advocate: The 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello exhibits an opaque purple color, as well as an elegant, black currant, mineral, and smoky oak-scented nose. The wine is medium to full-bodied, tannic, and in need of 10 years of cellaring. Not a blockbuster, this offering is more elegant and finesse-styled than usual. However, as with previous Monte Bellos, it will take a long time to come around, yet it will keep for 2-3 decades.

1996 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $207 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 95

  • $440 at The Plumed Horse | 2.1x
  • $500 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.4x

95 points Wine Advocate: The 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello (80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, and 9% Petit Verdot that reached 13.4% alcohol) represents a severe selection of only 40% of the vineyard’s crop. A blockbuster, powerful, concentrated Monte Bello, it possesses an opaque purple color, plenty of spicy oak in the nose (100% American oak has always been used for aging Monte Bello), and a deep, layered, concentrated style. There is plenty of tannin, but it is sweeter than that found in the 1997, and the wine is more concentrated and extracted. There is a touch of oak in the flavors, which are otherwise dominated by minerals and jammy black fruits. This is a terrific Monte Bello that will have 30+ years of life.

1995 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $162 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 95

  • $446 at Spruce | 2.8x

95 points Wine Advocate: The 1995 Monte Bello is actually a Proprietary Red Wine as the blend is 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc. It was made from an extremely severe selection of only 25% of the harvest. Paul Draper feels it is the biggest, brawniest, and most muscular Monte Bello of the 1990s, and in need of 10-15 more years of cellaring. This saturated ruby/purple-colored effort is still backward, with a closed nose of minerals, oak, and subtle black fruits. In the mouth, it is large-scaled, tannic, rich, and long, but nearly abrasive because of the wine’s high tannin level. This youthful, muscular, monster Monte Bello will require significant cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2035.

 

1994 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $234 Average Price via Wine – Searcher & HALF BOTTLE $85 at Belmont Wine Exchange

Rating: Wine Advocate 90 to 92

  • $375 at Boulevard | 1.6x | TOP PICK
  • $460 at The Plumed Horse | 1.9x

90 to 92 points Wine Advocate: The 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Bello was one of the most backward Cabernets in the March tasting. It almost defies inspection given its austere, extremely tannic, hard style. The opaque purple color is accompanied by a wine that smells and tastes ripe, rich, and brilliantly made, but it will require a minimum of 10-12 years of cellaring to shed enough tannin to become civilized. Although it should be a winner, it may not be as sure a bet as such vintages as 1991, 1992, and 1995. When young, this wine rarely reveals its full potential. Having said that, the last three vintages of the Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon (1993, 1994, and 1995) are immensely impressive, with perhaps the 1994 the least expansive – for now.

1992 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $228 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 94 to 97

  • $470 at Spruce | 2.0x
  • $525 at Harris’ Restaurant | 2.3x
  • $1,200 MAGNUM at The Plumed Horse | 2.6x

 94 to 97 points Wine Advocate: When I tasted this wine early in its life I felt it had outstanding potential. With another year of cellaring it has gained considerable weight. It now looks to be one of the greatest examples of Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon Ridge has produced. Only 40% of the crop made it into the final blend, which consists of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 10% Petit Verdot, and 4% Cabernet Franc. The wine offers a black/purple color, a profound nose of minerals, cassis, licorice, and spices, spectacular richness, and a great mid-palate that boasts layers of fruit. Admirable purity, fine underlying acidity, and considerable sweet, ripe tannin make this another compelling effort. Given the stunning 1990 Ridge Monte Bello and the exceptional promise of both the 1991 Monte Bello and the unbottled 1993 Monte Bello, Ridge has a quartet of stunning Cabernets that rival, and possibly eclipse what this winery achieved in 1968, 1969, 1970, and 1971. Assuming good cellar conditions, the 1992 Monte Bello should have 30-35 years of longevity.

 

1990 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $217 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 93

  • $495 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.3x

93 points Wine Advocate: The 1990 Monte Bello is also backward, tannic, and rich. Its cassis, mineral, and oak-scented nose offers considerable promise. With medium to full body, crisp acidity, and a long, tight, closed finish, it will require considerable patience.

 

2008 Opus One

Retail Price: $204 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 92

  • $135 (1/2 bottle) at The House of Prime Rib | 1.3x
  • $225 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.1x | TOP PICK
  • $325 at Boulevard | 1.6x
  • $345 at Waterbar | 1.7x
  • $357 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.75x
  • $395 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.9x
  • $395 at Quince | 1.9x
  • $425 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.0x
  • $430 at Plumed Horse | 2.0x
  • $430 at Bourbon Steak | 2.0x
  • $433 at RN74 | 2.0x

Winemaker Michael Silacci noted that this wine features the highest percentage of petit verdot to date. And he’s convinced that co-fermenting it with the cabernet sauvignon diminished the natural rusticity of petit verdot. (May/June 2011)

92 points Wine Spectator: Graceful and elegant, very understated and delicate, with floral, spice, mint, bay leaf, currant, cedar and tobacco notes that are complex and vibrant. Full-bodied, gaining on the finish, then firming and drying. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Drink now through 2021.

2007 Opus One

Retail Price: $195 at Belmont Wine Exchange

Rating:  Wine Advocate 95

  • $200 at Waterfront Restaurant |1.0x | TOP PICK
  • $300 at The House of Prime Rib |1.5x
  • $350 at Jardiniere | 1.8x
  • $400 at Bourbon Steak | 2.0x

95 points  Wine Advocate: Two of the strongest wines ever made at Opus One, the 2007 has terrific black currant fruit, licorice, incense, and subtle smoke, an opulent, even voluptuous mouthfeel, dazzling purity and texture, and a skyscraper-like mouthfeel. This is a sensational Opus One, with sweet tannin and impressive precision and depth. It can be drunk now or cellared for 25+ years.

2005 Opus One

Retail Price: $214 Average Price via Wine – Searcher & $499 Magnum at K&L Wine Merchants

Rating: Wine Advocate 95 

  • $175 at The House of Prime Rib | Below Retail | TOP PICK

95 points Wine Advocate: Tasted twice Deep garnet-purple colour. The nose begins a little mute with a suggestion of freshly crushed blackberries and blackcurrants, forest floor, cinnamon and a touch of loam. The palate is wonderfully concentrated with layers of macerated blackberry, cloves, vanilla and dark chocolate. A medium+ level of acidity and medium to firm fine and ripe tannins give excellent structure to the richness of flavours. Very long finish. Drink now to 2030. Tasted April 2009.

 

2004 Opus One

Retail Price: $232 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 93

  • $185 at The House of Prime Rib | Below Retail | TOP PICK

93 points Wine Advocate: Deep garnet-purple colour. Intense, very purely fruited nose of warm cassis, mocha, black pepper, black olives and cigar boxes. Great concentration of juicy fruit on the palate, which is well supported by a firm backbone of medium to high acidity and a medium to high, fine grained tannins. Nicely balanced though the oak is still dominating slightly. Long finish. Drink now to 2024. Tasted April 2009.

2003 Opus One

Retail Price: $223 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 87

  • $195 at The House of Prime Rib |Below Retail | TOP PICK
  • $900 DOUBLE MAGNUM at The House of Prime Rib |

87 points Wine Spectator: Intense and concentrated, with dried currant, wild berry and cedary oak flavors providing a dry, chewy aftertaste. May benefit from time in the bottle. Best from 2008 through 2013. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 23,000 cases made. –JL

 

2002 Opus One

Retail Price: $212 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 89

  • $230 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.0x | TOP PICK

 

89 points Wine Advocate: An improvement over recent vintages, the 2002 Opus One boasts a dense ruby/purple color as well as an attractive bouquet of damp earth, cassis, licorice, and spice box. Medium-bodied with noticeable, but supple tannin, excellent purity, and a moderately long finish, it is excellent, possibly outstanding, but remains significantly over-priced vis a vis the finest wines in this price range. It will last for 10-15 years.

 

2000 Opus One

Retail Price: $230 at K&L Wine Merchants

Rating: Wine Spectator 89

  • $650 (Magnum) at The House of Prime Rib |1.4x | TOP PICK

89 points Wine Spectator: Firm and structured, with spicy currant, herb, dill and berry, picking up a cedary lead pencil edge. Finishes with a firm, rich core of flavors and tight tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2012.” (11/03) The 2000 Opus One is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot. The wine shows flavors of minerals, dark cherry, spice, leather and plums. Complex and long, the Opus 2000 should develop well over the next five years.

1999 Opus One

Retail Price: $220 at JJ Buckley and $250 at K&L Wine Merchants

Rating:  Wine Advocate 88

  • $375 at The House of Prime Rib |1.7x

88 points  Wine Advocate: While it is a big, rich effort, the 1999 Opus One exhibits a distinct earthiness as well as a sweaty saddle-like characteristic. It builds nicely on the attack and mid-palate, but finishes short, displaying hints of herbs, chocolate, and black currants. Drink this medium-bodied offering now and over the next 7-8 years.

1997 Opus One

Retail Price: $303 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 88

  • $350 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.1x | TOP PICK
  • $650 MAGNUM at The House of Prime Rib | 1.0x | TOP PICK
  • $795 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.6x

88 points Wine Advocate: Now don’t get me wrong, 88 points signifies a very good to excellent wine. But in the context of the vintage, not to mention what this wine should be, this is a disappointment. The 1997 tastes as if it were made from yields that were too high. They may tell you it is elegant and complex, but, truthfully, there is not much depth, and the wine will have a relatively short lifeline of 10-12 years. A dark ruby color is accompanied by a complex nose of plums, black cherries, currants, smoke, and leather. The wine reveals more new oak than normal for Opus, as well as medium body, good depth, dry, hard tannins in the finish, and little weight or length. Drink this over the next 8-10 years. P.S. By the way, the price went up $20 and the quality has gone down.

1996 Opus One

Retail Price: $281 Average Price via Wine – Searcher, $260 at Belmont Wine Exchange & $450 MAGNUM at K&L Wine Merchants
Rating: Wine Advocate 94

  • $1,200 MAGNUM at Plumed Horse | 2.1x
  • $695 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.6x

94 points Wine Advocate: This is one of the finest Opus Ones to date, offering a dark ruby/purple color, as well as a striking, intense bouquet of sweet licorice intermixed with blackberries, cassis, plums, and saddle leather. This seamless, full-bodied wine is more velvety-textured, opulent, and succulent than past vintages. The mid-palate is expansive and chewy. The long finish is filled with glycerin, ripe fruit, and sweet tannin. Drink this impressive, user-friendly yet richly concentrated effort over the next 15 years.

 

1993 Opus One

Retail Price: $250 at SF Wine Trading Company & $301 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 93

  • $425 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.7x | TOP PICK

Deep garnet-brick colour. Fragrant aromas of dried cranberries, prunes, cinnamon and cumin giving way to subtler earthy notes of leather and tar. A lot of discernable fruit remains on the palate framed by crisp acidity and a medium level of grainy tannins. Very long, layered finish. Drink now to 2018. Tasted April 2009.

 

 

2008 Pride Mountain Vineyards, Napa & Sonoma, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $75 Bedford Wine Merchants

Rating:  Wine Advocate 91 & Wine Spectator 91

  • $95 at Boulevard | 1.3x | TOP PICK
  • $125 at La Mar | 1.7x

91 points  Wine Advocate: The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon is a beautiful wine graced with expressive red fruit, flowers, licorice and tobacco. This mid-weight, understated wine impresses for its focus, length and fine overall balance. Floral notes round out the fleshy, generous finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020

91 points Wine Spectator: This tight, well-structured red is firm, with dried currant, blackberry, black licorice, anise, cedar and gravel flavors leading to a full body. Ends with a cleansing, refreshing aftertaste. Best from 2012 through 2019. 5,270 cases made. –JL

 

2008 Pride Mountain Vineyards, Sonoma Cabernet Franc

Retail Price: $71 Average Price via Wine – Searcher & $60 Release Price

Rating: Wine Spectator 89

  • $110 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.5x | TOP PICK

89 points Wine Spectator: Aromas of toasty oak and sandalwood are clean, spicy and herbal, with dried berry and cherry fruit that shows hints of fresh flowers and tobacco. Medium- to full-bodied, turning elegant on the finish. Drink now through 2017. 850 cases made. –JL

Winemaker’s Notes: Due to the spring frost, just fewer than 1000 cases of this commanding wine were produced, and boy does this vintage shine! Succulent strawberry, blueberry, plum, dark chocolate and roasted coffee notes seduce the nose, while the lush palate provides layers of fruit and a weighty finish that avoids becoming ponderous due to just the right amount of acidity. 83% Cabernet Franc was blended with 15% Cabernet Sauvignon from our terraced Chalk Hill block and 2% Merlot from our Wind Whistle block, adding structure and balancing the wine’s unctuous nature. Alcohol 14.9%.

 

2008 Pride Mountain Vineyards, 28% Napa & 78% Sonoma, Merlot

Retail Price: $59 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 88 &  Wine Advocate 90

  • $75 at Los Altos Grill | 1.3x
  • $97 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.6x
  • $105 at Boulevard | 1.8x
  • $125 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.1x

88 points Wine Spectator: Dense and tight as a drum, yet there’s a rich core of fruit at the heart of this Merlot. Aromas of red currant, mocha and minerals lead to firm plum, cedar and spicy herb flavors, which finish with a grip of tannins. Best from 2013 through 2017. 5,052 cases made. –TF

90 points  Wine Advocate: The 2008 Merlot (72% Sonoma fruit and 28% Napa) reveals abundant aromas of black cherry and mocha-infused fruit intermixed with hints of white chocolate, roasted herbs and coffee. It is a sexy, full-throttle, heady Merlot to drink over the next 7-8 years.

Winemaker’s Notes: The Merlot from 2008 was packed with such expressive varietal character that little blending was required. The final blend is composed of our 12 Merlot blocks polished with 7% Cabernet Sauvignon from our Rock Arch and Rim Rock blocks. Blue-black color tinged with garnet is the first indication that the 2008 vintage is something special. Black and red cherries, plum preserves and currant mingle with spice notes including sweet anise. The texture on the palate is supple and viscous, with elegant tannins that are not overbearing. 93% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon. Alcohol 14.5%

2007 Pride Mountain Vineyards, Napa & Sonoma Merlot

Retail Price: $61 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 92

  • $79 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.3x | TOP PICK

92 points Wine Advocate: The 2007 Merlot, which comes from both Napa and Sonoma fruit (the Pride Mountain vineyards are split by the county line), exhibits a dense purple color as well as abundant chocolate and berry fruit notes, medium to full body, and great freshness, length, and depth. It is a heady, succulent style of Merlot to drink over the next 7-10 years.


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