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September 03, 2018

New Release – Mondavi Opus One 2015, 6×75, £1,350, 98 Pts

opus

This morning we are delighted to release one of the most perennially oversubscribed wines, the highly collectible and investable Opus One. Opus One 2015 is considered one of its finest vintages in the last ten years. The 2015 vintage in Napa is the fourth banner year, with the 2015s surpassing the 2014s and among the finest Estates, equalling the best of the 2012 and 2013 vintages. However, following four years of drought, production is greatly reduced, in the case of Opus One, allocations are reduced by 20%, which will stretch supply further. On the strength of the 2015s, it comes as no surprise therefore that Opus One has received 97+ points from Lisa Perrotti-Brown of the Wine Advocate, who says ‘truly an iron fist in a velvet glove, delivering a powerhouse of flavors and structure with a seductively plush texture’. James Suckling has awarded it 98 points, declaring ‘Brightness is the word that comes to mind.’ Antonio Galloni completes the unified critical acclaim with 96+ points, saying, ‘The 2015 Opus One is just as fabulous from bottle as it was from barrel.’

As always, today’s release price of £1,350 per case of six offers an excellent entry point when compared to average trading price of all vintages since 2010, nearly £200 higher at £1,530, a 12% premium. Moreover, the average trading price of the last 10 vintages of £1,638, is 18% higher than today’s release: Opus One displays superb and consistent vintage premium. Since 2009 until 2014, Opus One has averaged 61% return from release. As one might expect, given its high scores and discount on release, the 2015 has the lowest Price Over Points Ratio of any vintage with 150, the average is 231! Taken together, Opus One 2015 is a very strong buy both for investment and for cellaring; it pays to secure it at the first tranche release price. Opus One provides consistent and attractive long-term price appreciation. It also delivers healthy short-term returns. The Estate has maintained a very steady pricing strategy which rewards collectors.

Opus One WA JS AG Release Price (6×75) POP PERF
2015 97+ 98 96+ £1,350 £1,350 144 0%
2014 96 97 95+ £1,250 £1,450 171 16%
2013 97+ 100 97 £1,075 £1,500 150 40%
2012 96 97 95 £900 £1,500 176 67%
2011 n/a 92 94 £900 £1,600 267 78%
2010 96 96 97 £900 £1,600 200 78%
2009 n/a 93 94+ £850 £1,800 277 112%
2008 n/a 94 95 £800 £1,800 257 125%
2007 95 93 96 £740 £1,650 254 123%
2006 93+ 93 89 £720 £1,750 269 143%
2005 95 92 93+ £620 £1,725 288 178%

The strategy to release on the Place de Bordeaux has allowed Opus One to establish an enviable global market, it also minimises parallel importing and establishes a global price from which it can springboard. As one might expect it maintains pride of place in US restaurants and hotels; in Europe it sells out quickly on the Place de Bordeaux: the icing on the cake is that it is incredibly strong in Asia – Japan is its biggest market outside of the US.

Production is similar to Lafite and Mouton Rothschild at 25,000 cases per year, closer to 20,000 in 2015, however, due to the immense popularity there is already an apparent shortfall in supply. The reason for this is that it is still priced very competitively against its Bordeaux equivalent First Growths, particularly given its incredible power, voluptuous mouthfeel and stunning purity. Opus One’s rise to global acclaim began with its first vintage in 1979, released in 1984 and at the time it was California’s most expensive wine at $50 per bottle. Its genesis is one of privilege, a joint venture between two wine giants and leaders in innovation, Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild.

The winery is located in Oakville, one of the most central wine regions in the Napa Valley. The valley straddles the Mayacamas and Vaca Mountain ranges, which create cool yet extremely sunny conditions, perfect for high quality grape growing. Opus One is grown on densely planted vineyards, bounded by a state of the art winery. The Estate’s buildings are defined by colonnades on either side, designed to blend in with the surrounding rolling hills and stylistically synthesise old and new world aesthetics, in the same way the wine combines the best features of Napa and Bordeaux. The limestone winery and the world beating wine have become a symbol and the apogee of great American winemaking.

Opus One 2015 will sell out by the end of the day and it is offered subject to availability.