House of Prime Rib Wine List Review

The House of Prime Rib

1906 Van Ness Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94109

P: 415.885.4605

www.houseofprimerib.net

The House of Prime Rib (“HOPR”) Wine List Review

 This is an update to our review from January 31, 2012.  HOPR still has a great selection of wines from Opus One, even though patrons heeded our advice and snapped up some of the great deals they had on the ’02, ’03, ’04 and ’05 vintages. The wines on this list are predominately comprised of young, full body wines that stand up well to the cuisine.  As you can see below, pricing is fantastic, and that is why we are not inserting “TOP PICK” choices with this review.  At the end of the day, you really can’t make a wrong turn with this wine list.

As with all VinoServant reviews, you will see the price at the restaurant followed by the mark-up over retail and if applicable, a rating from one of the publications listed below (2007 Schramsberg, Blanc de Blancs | $55 | 1.8x | WS 88). Mark up of 1.8x translates into a retail price of $30 a bottle and Wine Spectator rated this wine 88 points.

Wine Advocate – WA | Wine Enthusiast – WE | Wine Spectator – WS | Wine & Spirits – WSS |

 

Top 7 Wines Under $60

2007 Domaine Carneros, Brut | $44 | 2.2x

2009 Grgich Hills, Napa Valley, Fume Blanc (a/k/a Sauvignon Blanc) | $41 | 1.5x | WS 88

2009 Frog’s Leap, Napa Valley, Chardonnay | $39 | 1.3x | WE 87

2009 A. Rafanelli, Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel | $50 | 1.1x

2007 Swanson, Napa Valley, Merlot | $47 | 1.7x | WA 87

2007 Andretti, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $46 | 1.8x

2008 A. Rafanelli, Dry Creek Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $58 | 1.1x

 

Top 9   Wines Over $60

** 2002 Dom Perignon | $175 | 1.25x | WA 96

2007 Chateau Montelena, Napa Valley, Chardonnay | $71 | 1.4x | WA 90

2008 Switchback Ridge, Napa Valley, Merlot | $77 | 1.4x | WA 90

**2007 Pride Mountain Vineyards, Napa & Sonoma, Merlot | $79 | 1.3x | WA 92

2008 Joseph Phelps, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $77 | 1.6x | WA 90

2008 Pahlmeyer, Jayson, Cabernet Sauvignon | $78 | 1.6x | WS 89

** 2006 Silver Oak, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $103 | 1.1x | WS 88

** 2008 Opus One | $225 | 1.1x | WS 92

** 1997 Opus One | $450 | 1.3x | WA 88 & WS 94

 

** Represents one of the best restaurant wine deals in the SF Bay Area

VINOSERVANT’S TOP WINE VALUES AT THE HOUSE OF PRIME RIB

 

Sparkling Wines

9 selections that range in price from $37 to $175

 

2007 Domaine Carneros, Brut | $44 | 2.2x

2007 Schramsberg, Blanc de Blancs | $55 | 1.8x | WS 88

Perrier Jouet, Grand Brut, Non Vintage | $69 | 1.7x | WS 90

Veuve Clicquot, Brut, Yellow Label, Non-Vintage | $82 | 1.9x | WS 90

2002 Dom Perignon | $175 | 1.25x | WA 96

 

White Wines

36 selections that range in price from $25 to $76

 

2010 Hanna, Russian River Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $30 | 2.1x

2010 Frog’s Leap, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $31 | 1.9x

2009 Grgich Hills, Napa Valley, Fume Blanc (a/k/a Sauvignon Blanc) | $41 | 1.5x | WS 88

2009 Duckhorn, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $41 | 2.2x | WS 87

2009 Cakebread, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $43 | 1.7x

 

2009 Acacia, Carneros, Chardonnay | $36 | 2.2x | WS 88

2009 Frog’s Leap, Napa Valley, Chardonnay | $39 | 1.3x | WE 87

2009 Trefethen, Napa Valley, Chardonnay | $42 | 1.7x

2008 Grgich Hills, Napa Valley, Chardonnay | $55 | 1.4x

2010 Rombauer, Carneros, Chardonnay | $56 | 1.9x

2007 Chateau Montelena, Napa Valley, Chardonnay | $71 | 1.4x | WA 90

2007 Far Niente, Napa Valley, Chardonnay | $76 | 1.4x | WS 91 & WA 91

 

Red Wines

116 selections that range in price from $32 to $925

2008 Gloria Ferrer, Carneros, Pinot Noir | $38 | 2.0x

2008 Saintsbury, Carneros, Pinoit Noir | $51 | 2.1x

2008 Robert Sinskey, Carneros, Pinot Noir | $55 | 1.7x

 

2009 Neal Family Vineyards, Napa Valley, Zinfandel | $37 | 1.5x

2009 A. Rafanelli, Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel | $50 | 1.1x

2008 Grgich Hills Cellars, Napa Valley, Zinfandel | $51 | 1.8x | WSS 91

 

2007 Swanson, Napa Valley, Merlot | $47 | 1.7x | WA 87

2009 Duckhorn, Napa Valley, Merlot | $65 | 1.3x

2008 Switchback Ridge, Napa Valley, Merlot | $77 | 1.4x | WA 90

2007 Pride Mountain Vineyards, Napa & Sonoma, Merlot | $79 | 1.3x | WA 92

2007 Duckhorn, Napa Valley, Merlot MAGNUM | $146 | 1.5x

 

2007 Benziger, Sonoma County, Cabernet Sauvignon | $39 | 2.3x | WE 90

2007 Andretti, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $46 | 1.8x

2008 A. Rafanelli, Dry Creek Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $58 | 1.1x

2009 Frog’s Leap, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon | $60 | 1.5x

2007 Neal Family Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $64 | 1.4x

2008 Turnbull Winery, Oakville, Cabernet Sauvignon | $64 | 2.0x | WS 88

2008 Frank Family, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $69 | 1.7x | WS 90

2007 Jordan, Alexander Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $75 | 1.5x

2008 Joseph Phelps, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $77 | 1.6x | WA 90

2008 Pahlmeyer, Jayson, Cabernet Sauvignon | $78 | 1.6x | WS 89

2007 Pine Ridge, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $78 | 1.8x | WS 88

2008 Groth, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $79 | 2.1x | WS 87

2007 Grgich Hills Cellars, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $84 | 1.7x

2009 Duckhorn, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $91 | 1.5x

2007 Silver Oak, Alexander Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $98 | 1.6x | WS 86

2006 Silver Oak, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $103 | 1.1x | WS 88

2005 Neal Family Vineyards, Howell Mountain Estate, Cabernet Sauvignon | $105 | 1.3x

2008 Switchback Ridge, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $108 | 1.5x | WA 90+ & WS 91

2008 Duckhorn, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon MAGNUM | $195 | 1.6x

2007 Silver Oak, Alexander Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon MAGNUM | $189 | 1.6x | WS 86

2008 Joseph Phelps, Insignia, Cabernet Sauvignon | $210 | 1.6x | WA 97

2006 Silver Oak, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon MAGNUM | $239 | 1.3x | WS 88

2006 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet MAGNUM | $290 | 1.2x | WS 94

 

Opus One

2008 Opus One | $225 | 1.1x | WS 92

2007 Opus One | $300 | 1.5x | WA 95

2003 Opus One | $900 | 1.0x | DOUBLE MAGNUM | WS 87

2000 Opus One | $650 | 1.4x | MAGNUM | WS 89

1999 Opus One |$375 |1.5x | WA 88

1997 Opus One | $450 | 1.3x | WA 88

1997 Opus One | $900 | 1.3x | MAGNUM | WA 88

1993 Opus One | $425 | 1.4x | WA 93

1987 Opus One | $525 | 1.5x | WA 93

 

Sparkling Wines

9 selections that range in price from $37 to $175

 

2007 Domaine Carneros, Brut

Retail Price: $20 at K&L Wines

  •  $44 at The House of Prime Rib | 2.2x

Winemaker’s Notes: Vintage dated each year, the Domaine Carneros Brut Cuvée represents the best of Carneros pinot noir and chardonnay made into a classic sparkling wine. The appellation is 100% Carneros. The Brut was aged in the bottle for three years before release. It will continue to develop further depth and complexity as it ages. This cuvée has aromas of meadow flowers, pears and citrus peel enhanced with notes of toast, vanilla and spice. The wine is elegantly structured, rich, round and flavorful with the long creamy finish that is the hallmark of Domaine Carneros wines. Lovely served with double or triple cream cheeses, it also matches especially well with oysters, shellfish, fish, poultry, Asian and California cuisine. Alcohol 12.0%.

2007 Schramsberg, Blanc de Blancs

Retail Price: $31 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 88

  • $55 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.8x

88 points Wine Spectator: Sleek and layered, offering vanilla and Meyer lemon tart aromas and supple citrus flavors, with hints of caramel and anise. Drink now. 20,550 cases made. –TF

Winemaker’s Notes: The aromas are sweet and inviting with fresh lemon and lime, followed by pineapple and ‘Jolly Rancher’ green apple. The generous nose is accentuated by a salty minerality that leads way to the yeastiness of fresh from the oven bread. Upon first taste, the 2007 Blanc de Blancs delivers delicious flavors of green apple, fresh honeydew melon and lemon custard. The palate finishes with a pleasant acidity that is crisp, long and lingering.  Alcohol 12.5%.

Perrier Jouet, Grand Brut, Non Vintage

Retail Price: $40 at K&L Wines

  • $69 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.7x | WS 90

90 points Wine Spectator: A toasty version, displaying a polished texture and flavors of Golden Delicious apple, pastry and spiced orange peel. This is lively, with a pretty floral note running throughout. Drink now.”

Winemaker’s Notes: Fresh and lively with spiraling bubbles, delicate bouquet, and a subtle complex flavors. Serve for all occasions, hors d’oeuvres, caviar, seafood dishes with light elegant sauces, or smoked salmon. Alcohol 12.0%.

Veuve Clicquot, Brut, Yellow Label, Non-Vintage

Retail Price: $42 at Multiple Locations

Rating: Wine Spectator 90 & Wine Enthisiast 89

  • $76 at Waterfront Restaurant | 1.9x
  • $82 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.9x

90 points Wine Spectator. The Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label has hints of toast and biscuit that accent lightly honeyed flavors of quince, apple blossom and peach in this fresh and balanced Champagne.

89 points Wine Enthusiast: Ripe, mature, easy Champagne, maintaining the Clicquot style of bottle maturity, with toast, sweet pastry and a rich, full-in-the-mouth character of white fruits. The finish is relatively soft. R.V.

2002 Dom Perignon

Retail Price: $140 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Advocate 96

  • $175 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.25x

96 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: The 2002 Dom Perignon is at first intensely floral, with perfumed jasmine that dominates the bouquet. With time in the glass the wine gains richness as the flavors turn decidedly riper and almost tropical. Ripe apricots, passion fruit and peaches emerge from this flashy, opulent Dom Perignon. The wine’s volume makes it approachable today, but readers in search of more complexity will want to cellar this for at least a few years to allow for some of the baby fat to drop off.

Winemaker’s Notes: Geoffroy describes the vintage as very ripe and adds that some of the Chardonnay showed the ill-effects of the hot growing season in it the somewhat burned, dehydrated fruit that came in that year. This bottle was disgorged in July, 2009. To be released summer 2010. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2032.

 

White Wines

36 selections that range in price from $25 to $76

 

2010 Hanna, Russian River Valley, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $14 at JJ Buckley

  • $30 at The House of Prime Rib | 2.1x

Winemaker’s Notes: Vibrant straw with a tinge of green. A nose of grapefruit, tangelo, quince flower mint, basil and pear with a mineral note. On the palate: Kiwi, lime zest, with an explosive mid palate of lemon, peach, honey and grass and a bright clean finish. Alcohol 13.2%.

2010 Frog’s Leap, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $16 at K&L Wines

  • $31 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.9x

Winemaker’s Notes: Grown in the heart of the Rutherford appellation the 2010 Frog’s Leap Sauvignon Blanc alludes to its storied region with aromas of wet stone, peach blossom and Meyer lemon zest. Across the palate the varietal’s fruit character moves forward with more citrus and a touch of stone fruit all supported by the wine’s minerality and crisp, bracing acid. This refreshing wine has a lingering finish that is sure to satisfy on a warm summer’s day, or with an array of dishes from pan roasted Petrale Sole to a few simple slices of Chèvre. Alcohol 12.8%.

2009 Grgich Hills, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc (a/k/a Fume Blanc)

Retail Price: $27 at Wine.com

  • $41 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.5x

88 points Wine Spectator: Bright and racy, featuring clear lemony flavors supported by sweet pea, lime zest, passion fruit and grapefruit notes. Appealing for its intensity and mouthwatering finish. Drink now. 14,008 cases made.

Winemaker’s Notes: Relying on naturally-occurring yeasts, we fermented 80% of the grapes in 900-gallon French oak casks, called foudres, with the remainder in previously-used small French oak barrels. We then aged the wine six months on its lees (the spent yeast) in neutral barrels. These techniques add body while showcasing the wonderful fruit, not masking it behind new oak. The wine’s crisp, elegant flavors of passion fruit, lemon grass and a hint of mineral at the end of the long finish are perfect with a green salad topped by Chèvre cheese, grilled seafood or sautéed chicken breast. Alcohol 14.3%.

2009 Duckhorn, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $25 at Wine.com and $27 at K&L Wine Merchants

  • $41 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.6x

87 points Wine Spectator: A lovely wine, offering fleshy, ripe melon, nectarine and apricot flavors that are focused and juicy, with hints of grapefruit and lemon on the crisp finish. Drink now.

2010 Cakebread, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $25 at K&L Wines

  • $43 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.7x

Winemaker’s Notes: Our 2010 Napa Valley Chardonnay boasts an attractive light golden-straw color and fresh, lightly buttery, ripe golden apple, pear and citrus aromas, complemented by seductive vanilla and cinnamon/nutmeg scents from oak aging and subtle yeast tones from lees contact. Lush, concentrated and creamy on the palate, its ripe apple, melon, bright citrus and baking spice flavors culminate in a long, beautifully structured finish boasting crisp acidity and zesty mineral and spice tones. Sumptuous, yet refreshing, our 2010 Chardonnay is delicious now, but will handsomely reward another 3-5 years’ bottle aging. Alcohol 14.2%.

 

2009 Acacia, Carneros, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $16 at K&L Wines

  • $36 at The House of Prime Rib | 2.2x

88 points Wine Spectator: Clean and crisp, with a creamy edge to the ripe pear, apple and nutmeg scents. Medium-bodied, gaining subtle nuances on the finish. Drink now through 2016. 60,000 cases made.”

Winemaker’s Notes: Swirling our 2009 Chardonnay Carneros in the glass releases vivid White Lady peach, green apple, white flower and honeycomb aromas. Every sip reveals layers of baked apple and pear, green apple, white peach and hazelnut flavors that expand across the palate. Notes of hazelnut and toasted oak come from barrel fermentation, while sur lie aging adds weight to the luscious texture. This wine’s bright, balanced acidity makes it ideal for pairing with white meats; seafood and freshwater fish; and creamy soups, pasta or risotto. Alcohol 14.4%.

2009 Frog’s Leap, Napa Valley, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $30 at Wine.com – SOLD OUT

  • $39 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.3x

87 points Wine Enthusiast: A good, everyday Chard. It’s sweet in caramelly oak, vanilla, buttered toast, pineapple jam and butterscotch flavors, with just in time acidity to make it finish clean and brisk.

Winemaker’s Notes: Crisp and clean” are not often ascribed to a California Chardonnay but with a nod to the great white wines of the old world, the 2009 Frog’s Leap Chardonnay is just that. Vivid flavors of green apple, citrus and peach are delicately touched with hints of vanilla and toast. The interplay of fresh fruit and bright acidity, marked by notes of wet stone and slate, offer fantastic complexity and drive the wine’s clean, refreshing finish. A vibrant wine to sip on its own, the Chardonnay is also a fantastic companion to seafood dishes, freshly shucked oysters and even mild cheeses. Alcohol 13.2%.

2009 Trefethen, Napa Valley, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $25 at K&L Wines

  • $42 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.7x

Winemaker’s Notes: Our 36th vintage of Napa Valley Chardonnay offers all the ingredients fans of this wine have come to treasure: beautifully fresh, complex aromas of golden apple, spicy pear and bright citrus fruit coupled with floral notes and hints of butter and toasty/clove-y French oak; a supple, beautifully balanced texture with vibrant apple and lemon-lime flavors; and a crisp, slightly spicy finish with refreshing mineral tones. The product of a cool-climate vintage, it is delightful now, but will unfold gracefully with further bottle aging.  Delightful with seafood, lemon herb-roasted chicken, creamy pasta dishes, and foods seasoned with a bit of tarragon. Alcohol 13.5%

2008 Grgich Hills, Napa Valley, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $38 at Wine.com

  • $55 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.4x 

Winemaker’s Notes: Following the classic style that Mike Grgich established when we began in 1977, we did not allow the Chardonnay to undergo malolactic fermentation and our Biodynamic farming created a wine that is alive with delicious acidity. This aromatic Chardonnay is rich with aromas of ripe peach, mango and tropical flowers, plus a note of minerality. Showcase this wine’s elegance with fresh seafood, roasted chicken, grilled pork, or creamy cheeses. Alcohol 14.5%.

2010 Rombauer, Carneros, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $30 at K&L Wine Merchants & Artisan Wine Depot

  • $56 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.9x

Winemaker’s Notes: Golden yellow color with a pale hue. Seductive aromas of peach, melon, and citrus are balanced with honeysuckle and vanilla. On the palate, flavors of pears, peaches and melons are backed with lively acidity. A nice touch of vanilla-scented oak provides an added flavor dimension. The creamy palate has a lingering finish of melon and citrus fruit with a satisfying buttery complexity.

Our favorite pairing for this wine includes scallops in a cream sauce, pasta carbonara, chicken risotto and Cornish game hen.

2007 Chateau Montelena, Napa Valley, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $50 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

  • $71 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.4x

90 points Wine Advocate: The 2007 Chardonnay offers up aromas of white peaches, apple skins, and crushed rocks presented in a fresh, medium-bodied, dry, zesty format. Drink it over the next few years (some vintages can age over a decade).

Winemaker’s Notes: In the glass this wine is reminiscent of California hillsides in summertime, showing a beautiful pale golden straw color. Aromas of orange blossom, citrus rind, and stone fruits of white peach and apricot open the bouquet. Layers of tropical pineapple and starfruit then give way to toasted hazelnuts and a touch of smoke, while the depths of the nose reveal a pleasant minerality. On the palate the clean, soft, full entry builds with layers of tropical fruit, white melon, green apple, and citrus. Excellent weight and acid balance throughout refresh the palate, while subtle notes of oak spice and vanilla linger at the end of the exceptionally long finish.

2007 Far Niente, Napa Valley, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $55 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 91 and Wine Advocate 91

  • $76 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.4x

91 points Wine Spectator: Pure, clean, rich and layered green apple, pear, spice and nutmeg give this a tight focus. Full-bodied, intense yet supple, with a long, fruity finish. Drink now through 2012.

91 points Wine Advocate: Far Niente’s beautiful 2007 Chardonnay Estate offers up copious aromas of lemon blossoms, poached pears, and brioche, crisp acidity, a hint of tropical fruits, a greenish-light gold color, and medium to full-bodied, elegant, pure flavors. It should drink well for 3-4 years.

Winemaker’s Notes: It is not one detail, but a thousand details, that converge to create the recognized Far Niente “house style.” Founded with a passion to make exceptional wines, and built on ownership of the finest vineyards, Far Niente makes Chardonnays that are rich in aroma, flavor, and texture, yet balanced with a graceful finesse. Each vintage brings fresh challenges. Through our experience, skill, and conscientious attention to detail, the wine expresses the magic of each vintage.

The resulting Far Niente Chardonnays are classically structured wines that are lush and round on the palate, while displaying the typical intensity of fruit and spicy oak aromas that have become synonymous with our “house style.” While the finish is long and clean, the flavors become increasingly full and complex with time. Our experience is that these wines improve in the bottle for at least five years, although they can grow in complexity and depth for possibly ten years or more.

 

Red Wines

116 selections that range in price from $32 to $925

 

2008 Gloria Ferrer, Carneros, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $19 at K&L Wines

  • $38 at The House of Prime Rib | 2.0x

Winemaker’s Notes: Ripe plum and black cherry fruit aromas followed by hints of mint and fresh herbs announce this delicious Pinot Noir. On the palate, this wine displays complexity and roundness with flavors of cherries jubilee and fresh berries followed by a lingering dry finish.  Delicious with duck breast, lamb chops, wild mushroom risotto, roast chicken or grilled salmon. Try Manchego or Fontina for the cheese course. Seasoning affinities include dried citrus peel and berries along with shaved fennel. Alcohol 13.9%

2008 Saintsbury, Carneros, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $24 at K&L Wines

  • $51 at The House of Prime Rib | 2.1x

Winemaker’s Notes: To achieve a style of wine we believe delivers varietal and regional integrity we undertake a careful, methodical exercise in blending. In late winter, after all our lots have completed malolactic fermentation and have been resting in small French oak barrels, we begin the search for our “Carneros” bottling. In tasting through all our barreled Pinot Noir, we are above all looking for those lots that show the right balance of tannin and acid, coupled with fruit flavors that while rich, dark-red and complex, are not overblown. Our Carneros bottling delivers distinctive Pinot Noir character of black/sour cherry and spice in a vibrant and elegant wine.  Aromas of black cherry, black tea, forest floor; loamy, full mouthfeel. Alcohol 13.5%.

2008 Robert Sinskey, Carneros, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $32 at K&L Wines

  • $55 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.7x

Winemaker’s Notes: Bright, gem-like translucent ruby color tumbles into the glass, as classic Pinot Noir aromas of berries, earth and spice leap towards the nose. Ripe tannins weave an elegant texture, soft and velvety, that holds beautiful flavors of dark cherry, cranberry, vanilla, sweet herbs, forest floor, and exotic spice. The wine finds incredible balance between flavors, tannins and acidity, making it a fantastic dinner companion. Alcohol 14.1%.

 

2009 Neal Family Vineyards, Napa Valley, Zinfandel

Retail Price: $24 at Artisan Wine Depot

  • $37 at The house of Prime Rib | 1.5x
  • $48 at Frascati | 2.0x

Winemaker’s Notes: The raspberry and cherry aromas jump right to the fore and carry themselves through to the finish of this wine. This vintage has a bit more texture than our previous offerings, the tannins suggesting tea. The flavors echo this with slightly nutty nuances, reminiscent of fine green tea. The texture is rich and viscous and a nutmeg spiciness shows itself in the mouth. On the finish the fruit becomes more jam oriented and black pepper rises, making for a wine that is indelibly and unmistakably Zinfandel. Alcohol 14.7%

2009 A. Rafanelli, Dry Creek Valley, Zinfandel

Retail Price: $47 Average Price Via Wine – Searcher

  • $50 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.1x

Winemaker’s Notes: With ripe jammy and briary fruit aromatically arousing your senses, and backgrounds of caramelly oak dancing on your palate, this Zin celebrates our signature style.  Always pleasing this is a wine that is youthful and will not disappoint after a couple of more years in the cellar.

2008 Grgich Hills Cellars, Napa Valley, Zinfandel

Retail Price: $27 at Napacabs & $30 at Wine.com

  • $51 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.8x

91 points Wine & Spirits: This wine’s gentle richness frames floral zin flavors of red raspberry and crushed red peppercorn. It’s tightly formed while maintaining that textural caress. For grilled lamb.”

Winemaker’s Notes: We grow our Zinfandel at our vineyard in Calistoga, which is certified organic and Biodynamic®. Nestled in the northern tip of Napa Valley, the vineyard’s gravelly loam provides excellent drainage and the cloudless days and cool nighttime temperatures are perfect for sun-loving Zinfandel. The vines are head pruned to protect the grapes from sunburn. All of these features combine to produce concentrated, complex flavors in the wine.

We co-fermented the Zinfandel with a touch of Petite Sirah to add complexity and structure and then aged the wine in large oak casks so the flavors are well integrated but not overwhelmed by oak. Pure Zinfandel flavors of strawberries, raspberries and a hint of dried sage make this wine the perfect match for grilled steak, smoked brisket and pasta or pizza topped with tomato sauce. Alcohol 14.7%.

 

2007 Swanson, Napa Valley, Merlot

Retail Price: $27 at Beltramo’s

  • $47 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.7x

87 points Wine Advocate: The dark plum-colored 2007 Merlot displays notes of chocolate, mocha, roasted herbs, and some toasty oak in a medium-bodied, fruitier style. It should drink well for 7-8 years. (12/09)

2009 Duckhorn, Napa Valley, Merlot

Retail Price: $45 at Napacabs

  • $65 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.4x

Winemaker’s Notes: This wine displays all of the benefits of slow, even ripening during a mild growing season. Though there is fullness and a lush character to this Merlot, there is also restraint and elegance. Promising aromas of cherry, red plum, raspberry, and dried herbs lead to a clean fresh entry with impeccably balanced acidity supporting intense red fruit flavors of cranberry, plum and raspberry. Round, supple tannins provide an enticing framework for the flavors and contribute to a lingering finish.

2008 Switchback Ridge, Napa Valley, Merlot

Retail Price: $55 at K&L Wines  – SOLD OUT

  • $77 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.4x

90 points Wine Advocate: One of the finest Merlots made in Napa Valley is the 2008 Merlot Peterson Family Vineyard. Sumptuous aromas of sweet kirsch and blacker fruits along with coffee bean, chocolate and herb scents jump from the glass of this dark plum/ruby/purple-colored effort. This dense, silky textured, round, chewy Merlot can be enjoyed over the next 7-8 years.

2007 Pride Mountain Vineyards, Napa & Sonoma Merlot

Retail Price: $61 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

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

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.

2007 Duckhorn, Napa Valley, Merlot

Retail Price: $100 MAGNUM at Beltramo’s

  • $146 MAGNUM at The House of Prime Rib | 1.5x

Winemaker’s Notes: 89% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petit Verdot.  To make a Merlot that could compete with the great Merlot based wines of the right bank of Bordeaux, we began by sourcing fruit grown primarily in alluvial soils, those with high water drainage and little topsoil. This type of soil produces intense fruit that translates into aromatic and complex wines. Our Napa Valley Merlot is a blend of several individual vineyard lots. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and occasionally Petit Verdot make up the final blend. We keep each individual vineyard lot separate through the fermentation and barrel-aging process. After roughly 16 months in oak, the various lots are evaluated and blended, then put back in the barrel to marry for an additional two months. The bright fruit and forward nature of our Napa Valley Merlot pairs well with grilled meats and wild game, wild berry sauces, hearty pasta dishes and Pacific Northwest salmon.

Our Napa Valley Merlot is a complex and ageable expression of the varietal, highlighting the rich diversity of the Napa Valley appellation. A product of the exceptional 2007 growing season, this wine’s hearty tannins and balanced acidity provide a textural framework for an enticing array of aromas and flavors that begin with notes of bright red cherry, plum, tobacco, vanilla and anise. On the palate, layers of fig, red currant, almond, cedar and sweet spice are revealed, along with a subtle doughiness that lends to an appealing mouthfeel. The final wine has been blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and a touch of Petit Verdot to add nuance and depth.

 

2007 Benziger, Sonoma County, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $17 at Wine.com

  • $39 at The House of Prime Rib | 2.3x

90 points Wine Enthusiast: A beautiful Cabernet for drinking now and over the next few years. It’s dry and fine with appealing blackberry, black currant, herb and cedar flavors all the way through the finish. Excellent price for a Cab of this quality. Easy to find with 36,000 cases produced.

Winemaker’s Notes: The 2007 vintage of our Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon has weight, structure and well integrated tannins. Dark berry flavors introduce the wine followed by hints of tea, cocoa and coffee. A well supported mid palate gives way to a long, soft finish. Alcohol 14.5%. 

2007 Andretti, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $25 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

  • $46 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.8x

Description from Wine Chateau: The epitome of what a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon should be. Richly complex with black fruit and hints of spicy oak, cedar and mint, this wine delivers a balanced intensity and complexity to the palate. A drinking pleasure today, it will also be pure delight in years to come. 

2008 A. Rafanelli, Dry Creek Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $45 at Saratoga Wine Exchange & $60 at 20-20 Wine Merchants

  • $58 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.1x 

Winemaker’s Notes: Luscious black cherry fruit and oak sweetened cassis implode on your palate. As our vineyard manger said, “just pull the cork and enjoy!” This is our classic Cabernet full of flavor and perfectly finessed. But don’t drink it all now, because it is only going to get better with time.

2009 Frog’s Leap, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $40 at Wine.com

  • $60 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.5x

Winemaker’s Notes: ypically when speaking of Cabernet, and especially Cabernet from Rutherford, we speak of the black fruit flavors of blackberries, cassis, and black currants. With our 2009 release, however, we find a lot of our descriptors heading in the direction of red fruits – maybe even purple fruits – ripe plums, elderberries and ruby red cherries all with very supple tannins and lovely acidity. 93% Cabernet sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc. Alcohol 13.7%.

2007 Neal Family Vineyards, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $45 at K&L Wines

  • $64 at The House Prime Rib | 1.4x

Winemaker’s Notes: The growing season for 2007 was mixed with stretches of heat and cool periods, creating a wide span of harvests dates and delightful fruit characters in the vineyard. The Cabernet Sauvignon sites we farm organically, produced delicious flavors with harvest starting in late August at the Fifteen Forty Vineyard on the east side of Howell Mountain. By mid-September we had picked a little Rutherford, valley floor fruit but then after a cool down, had to wait until October for the remaining Rutherford and mountain vineyards to ripen. Included in the Howell Mountain Estate Vineyard was some of the first fruit from our replanted vines.

The growing conditions produced dark fruit flavors, very well balanced acids and tannins, and beautifully colored wines. This vintage is packed with intense fruit aromas of cherry, blackberry, cassis and sweet oak. Plus, there is sweetness to the intense fruit and oak flavors and a mouth watering, velvety structure from the tannins. The resulting character makes this a great vintage for enjoying now as well as aging. Alcohol 14.5%.

2008 Turnbull Winery, Oakville, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $32 at Artisan Wine Depot & Napacabs

  • $64 at The House of Prime Rib | 2.0x

88 points Wine Spectator: A rich, robust, somewhat rangy style, offering loamy earth, dried berry, sage, cedar and anise flavors. Full-bodied and complete, ending with a raspberry-cranberry edge and firm tannins. Best from 2012 through 2019. 6,600 cases made. –JL

Winemaker’s Notes: Our 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is crafted to highlight the best qualities of our estate vineyards. Dark, rich and extracted, this wine has aromas of cassis, black cherry and currants. Balanced oak nuances add both a sweetness and roundness to this aromatic and powerful wine. 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 7% Syrah, 4% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Petite Sirah, 1% Malbec.

2008 Frank Family, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $40 at JJ Buckley

  • $69 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.7x 

90 points Wine Spectator: This supple-textured red shows ripe plum, cherry and currant notes that are open-knit and easy-drinking. Complex, if on a modest scale, ending with an elegant spice, cedar and light mineral edge. Drink now through 2018.

2007 Jordan, Alexander Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $33 at Rye brook Wine & Spirit Shop & $45 at K&L Wines

  • $75 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.9x

Winemaker’s Notes: A seamless wine, the 2007 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon exudes beautiful, dense, blackberry aromas that echo through the mid-palate. The mouthfeel is silky-smooth with soft, round tannins accented by a vanilla quality from aging one year in primarily French oak barrels. Enjoyable now or worthy of cellaring through 2020.

2008 Joseph Phelps, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $53 at Wine.com & $45 at Rye Brook Wine & Spirit Shop

  • $77 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.6x

90 points Wine Advocate: The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (a blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot and the rest Petit Verdot and Malbec) is an impressive version. Their 1975 Cabernet Sauvignon is still alive at age 35. The 2008’s dense ruby/purple color is followed by an attractive bouquet of creme de cassis and charcoal. Revealing full-bodied richness and lots of depth, it is one of the finest regular Cabernet Sauvignons Phelps has made in many years. The tannins have sweetened over the last year and this impressively endowed effort, while approachable now, should age for 20+ years

2008 Pahlmeyer, Jayson, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: 450 at Wine.com

  • $78 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.6x

89 points Wine Spectator: This delicate, subtle style combines ripe black cherry, wild berry and plum flavors with touches of anise and black licorice. Full-bodied, with a graceful finish. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now through 2018. 3,000 cases made.”

Winemaker’s Notes: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec. Alcohol 15.2%. The 2008 Jayson Red exhibits blackberry, blueberry and bright raspberry notes, enhanced by layers fresh black olive, mocha chocolate and anise. Dense and chewy, the finish lingers. – Erin Green

2007 Pine Ridge, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $43 at K&L Wines

  • $78 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.8x

88 points Wine Spectator: Tight, firm and compact, showing a trim band of complex dried currant, mineral, sage, herb and cedar. Full-bodied, balanced and structured, ending with green olive and mineral notes. Best from 2012 through 2020. 950 cases made.

2008 Groth, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $37 at K&L Wines

  • $79 at The House of Prime Rib | 2.1x

87 points Wine Spectator: Offers savory berry and herbal notes. In some ways this is more complete than the Reserve, with a fleshier texture and less dryness. Drink now through 2016. 20,000 cases made. –JL

Winemaker Notes: The Cabernet Sauvignon fruit is grown on our Estate controlled vineyards, in the Oakville AVA, in the heart of the Napa Valley. The Oakville District is renowned for its Cabernet Sauvignon and produces wines that are full, lush and very elegant.

The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon is big and lush with huge gobs of fruit in the aroma and flavor. The texture of the wine is soft and supple, typical of Cabernet Sauvignons grown in our area of the Oakville AVA.

Menu suggestions: “A slab and a Cab”, Dennis Groth recommends you drink his Cabernet Sauvignon with steak. Alcohol 14.9%.

2007 Grgich Hills Cellars, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $50 at Napacabs

  • $84 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.7x

Winemaker’s Notes: All of the grapes were grown at our estate vineyards in Yountville and Rutherford and they are certified organic and Biodynamic®. This is an elegant wine with rich aromas of black berries, black licorice and a hint of cocoa powder. Velvety smooth, it’s the perfect partner with grilled steak, rack of lamb or roasted duck. Alcohol 14.5%.

2009 Duckhorn, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $60 at Napacabs

  • $91 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.5x

Winemaker’s Notes: Though still in its youth, this is a wonderfully aromatic and fragrant wine, with vibrant, lifted aromas of spearmint, blackcurrant, violets, graham cracker and loganberry. On the palate, blackberry and blueberry flavors mingle with cocoa and cola notes. Though the tannins impart a touch of youthful dryness, decanting reveals this wine’s classic Cabernet character, with a lovely structure, generous mouth-filling flavors and a long, satisfying finish.

2007 Silver Oak, Alexander Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $60 at K&L Wines

Rating: See comments below

  • $98 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.6x
  • $189 MAGNUM at The House of Prime Rib | 1.6x

86 points Wine Spectator: Atypically coarse in texture, this spicy red shows dill and dried currant notes. Medium- to full-bodied, turning simpler on the finish, where the flavors dissipate. Drink now through 2017. 75,000 cases made. –JL

Winemaker’s Notes: Our 2007 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a profound, fruit-driven wine from a great California vintage. It has a dark ruby color with a purple edge and an inviting nose of ripe black plum, blackberry, baking spices and soy sauce. On the palate, the wine is rich and full, reminiscent of the flavors of a berry cobbler. It has a long, fruity finish with fine grained tannins, and is a testament to exquisite ripeness at moderate alcohol. With proper cellaring, this wine should give drinking pleasure through 2031. Alcohol 13.9%.

2005 Neal Family Vineyards, Howell Mountain Estate, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $80 at Hope & Grapes

  • $105 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.3x

Winemaker’s Notes: Every year the challenge with the mountain vineyards is to manage the powerful tannins into a rounder, more approachable 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. This year the crop was low and the intensity that resulted is very evident. Big and tight at a young age, this Cabernet is a good candidate to lie down. Earthy and dark to start, a rich, ripe fruit character comes out with decanting. Cherry, vanilla, toasty oak, leather and cassis flavors accompany the mountain tannins and balanced finish. Alcohol 13.9%.

2008 Switchback Ridge, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $65 at Flickinger Wines & $80 at Golden Gate Wine Cellars

  • $108 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.5x

90+ points Wine Advocate: The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Peterson Family Vineyard is a more long-distance runner that will require some patience from purchasers. A deep plum/ruby/purple color is followed by a tight but promising nose of forest floor, brooding red and black fruits and earth. Careful coaxing is required to help the nuances emerge. Full-bodied, with elevated but sweet tannins, this 2008 is still somewhat monolithic, but is rich and promising. Give it 2-3 years of bottle age and drink it over the following two decades.

91 points Wine Spectator: An elegant, stylish wine, medium-to full-bodied, with a tight, firm, complex mix of black fruit, black licorice, cedar and floral scents, ending with supple, fine-grained tannins. More refined than this typically is. Best from 2012 through 2021. 1,020 cases made. –JL

2008 Duckhorn, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $130 MAGNUM at Napacabs & $120 MAGNUM at Lakeforest Wines

  • $195 MAGNUM at The House of Prime Rib | 1.6x

Winemaker’s Notes: The aromas offer intense layers of dark briar fruit complemented by creamy mocha, clove, vanilla and a hint of Chinese allspice. The flavors fill the palate with layers of Bing cherry, plum, cranberry, cola and cedar.

2008 Joseph Phelps, Insignia, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $129 at Artisan Wine Depot

  • $210 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.6x

97 points Wine Advocate: The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Insignia is a towering, statuesque wine bursting with blackberry jam, tar, spices, leather and licorice. It shows fabulous depth and richness backed up by serious, imposing tannins that suggest it has a long life. Ideally, the 2008 should be purchased by those who can be patient; it is not a wine for those seeking immediate gratification. The blend is 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot and 4% Malbec. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2038.

2006 Silver Oak, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $90 at Wine.com

  • $103 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.1x
  • $239 MAGNUM at The House of Prime Rib | 1.3x

88 points Wine Spectator: The unmistakable signature of vanilla bean and coconut scents fold in nicely with taut yet supple tiers of cedar, black cherry, currant and berry jam notes. Full-bodied, ending with firm, structured tannins. Drink now through 2018. 34,500 cases made. –JL

Winemaker’s Notes: The 2006 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a complex and refined wine that develops beautifully in the glass to reveal multi-layered nuances of aromas. It has a dark ruby color and an enticing nose of cassis, black truffles and violets. On the palate, the wine has an elegant attack and bursts with flavors of fresh forest fruit, potpourri and Asian spices. It has a long finish with smooth well-integrated tannins. With proper cellaring it should give drinking pleasure through 2026.

Our 2006 Napa Valley, a blend of wine from vineyards throughout the appellation, is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. We blended the vineyard lots in early 2007 and transferred the wine to 100% new American oak barrels for aging. Blending prior to barreling allows us to achieve a balance of the wine’s primary elements, such as fruit and tannin, before they are influenced by oak. The wine was then aged in barrel for approximately 25 months and another 20 months in bottle to harmonize its components before release. Alcohol 14.1%.

2006 Ridge Vineyards, Montebello, Cabernet Sauvignon

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

  • $290 MAGNUM at The House of Prime Rib | 1.2x

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.

2008 Opus One

Retail Price: $211 Average Price via Wine – Searcher & ½ Bottle $100 at Artisan Wine Depot

  • $135 (1/2 bottle) at House of Prime Rib | 1.3x
  • $225 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.1x

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.

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) 

2007 Opus One

Retail Price: $205 Average Price via Wine – Searcher & $269 at SF Wine Trading Company

  • $300 at The House of Prime Rib |1.5x

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.

2003 Opus One

Retail Price: $230 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

  • $900 DOUBLE MAGNUM at The House of Prime Rib | 1.0x

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: $224 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

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

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: $224 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

  • $650 Magnum at The House of Prime Rib |1.4x

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: $250 at K&L Wines & SF Wine Trading Company

  • $375 at House of Prime Rib |1.5x

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: $347 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

  • $450 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.3x
  • $900 MAGNUM at The House of Prime Rib | 1.3x

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.

94 points Wine Spectator: A rich, decidedly earthy style of Opus, showing currant, anise, black cherry, mineral, leather and sage flavors that are focused and complex. Drink now through 2010. 26,000 cases made. –JL

1996 Opus One

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

  • $1,200 MAGNUM at Plumed Horse | 2.1x

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: $306 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

  • $425 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.4x 

93 points Wine Advocate: 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.

1987 Opus One

Retail Price: $358 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

  • $525 at The House of Prime Rib | 1.5x

93 points Wine Advocate: Deep garnet-brick. Mature Cabernet notes of warm cassis, dried herbs, mushrooms, black pepper and sweaty saddles. The medium to full bodied palate provides plenty of gamey, dried berry fruit with a medium level of silky tannins and medium to high acidity. Great balance. Long finish. Drink now to 2013. Tasted April 2009.

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