1982 Opus One – so sad

A friend of mine had me open his bottle of 1982 Opus One. He had it sitting in his living room wine rack for years.

Before opening it, I noticed that the wine level was well below the capsule. I suspected leakage, but the color of the top of the cork was good.

When I inserted the corkscrew, it seemed that cork was very soft, in fact, it offered no resistance.

I expected difficulty removing the cork, but it popped right out or should I say about the top-half did. The cork was well saturated with wine up to about one quarter of an inch from the top. So there was no apparent leakage.

After a couple of attempts, the rest of the cork came out.

I poured some in our glasses. The color was good. There was a nice smokey aroma, but there was absolutely no fruit aroma.

I tears were actually welling up in my eyes at this point. OK, not really but I figured that it was gone.

It tasted pretty much like it smelled. The fruit was long gone. There was alcohol and the flavors from the barrel. I could tell that it was once a great wine. I even drank a bit of it before giving up.

I give thanks to my friend for allowing me to share the experience, because even though the wine was well past it’s prime, I know that it cost a lot when it was purchased.

2005 Mathis Sonoma Valley Grenache

An offering from a previous head winemaker for Ravenswood, I picked up a couple bottles at — believe it or not — a small shop on the concourse of the Oakland International Airport. We were returning from a weekend trip to the Bay Area.  and I struck up a nice conversation with the clerk. Always a fan of Rhones, this one is a blend of Grenache (84%), Petite Sirah (11%), Carignane (4%), and Alicante Bouchet (1%).

The color is a deep raspberry and the nose is  black cherry and cranberry. The palate is a nice blend of strawberry and pomegranite with a hint of dark chocolate and black pepper. It paired well with pork loin chops off the “barbie” the first night and burgers the second. I gotta say it got better as time went on. When it comes time to open the second bottle, I will be sure to let it breathe a bit longer than this one.