Investment Tips - Other - 25. June 2024

Bravo – 99 points to the exquisite 2018 Opus One

Napa Valley's Opus One represents uncompromising quality. But the increasing occurrence of wildfires threatens future releases... Read more here

“The 2018 Opus One is absolutely exquisite”

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous.

Opus One

2018 Opus One

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*EUR 300 / bottle

Opus One: The Pursuit of Uncompromising Quality

The story of Opus One is a remarkable tale of vision, collaboration, and innovation in the wine world. It all began in 1979 when two of the most iconic figures in the wine industry, Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Château Mouton Rothschild in Bordeaux and Robert Mondavi of Napa Valley, decided to create a wine that could combine the best of both Old and New World winemaking traditions.

This extraordinary alliance led to the creation of Opus One, one of the first wines from Napa Valley that could truly compete with the best Bordeaux wines. Together, Rothschild and Mondavi combined their expertise and resources to produce a wine that expressed both Napa Valley's unique terroir and the traditional winemaking techniques of Bordeaux. The wine quickly became a sensation, raising the standards for the entire Napa Valley, which was recognized as a leading wine region in the world.

Napa Valley is renowned for its ideal climate and diverse soil types, which allow the production of wines of exceptional quality. The region has developed into a hub for wine lovers worldwide, and Opus One stands as a symbol of Napa Valley's potential and grandeur.

Read our article about the USA's most prominent wine-producing region: Napa Valley – the stronghold of the greatest American wines.

2018 Opus One 2018 Opus One

Key Changes Have Improved Opus One’s Quality

In 2001, Michael Silacci became the winemaker at Opus One, implementing essential changes to improve the wine's quality and maintain its exclusivity. He focused on innovation and continuous fine-tuning.

One of the first changes Silacci implemented was a strict pruning of the vineyards. He believed this would increase concentration and prolong the wine's finish, two aspects he felt Opus One needed improvement in. Although it impacted the bottom line, this pruning method contributed to a significant quality enhancement.

Additionally, he experimented with closer planting in the vineyards, resulting in smaller berries with a higher skin-to-juice ratio, leading to a more intense wine. This cemented Opus One as both exclusive and highly sought after.

2018 Opus One | “Bravo”

There is no doubt that Silacci's work has significantly improved Opus One's quality in this millennium, reflected in increasing scores year after year. The latest release is 2019, and about it and the preceding 2018 vintage, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, former wine critic at Wine Advocate, says:

“Both vintages are a triumph at Opus One and a testament to the subtle changes that Silacci and his team have been conducting in the vineyards and winery over the last 15+ years. Bravo!”

2018 Opus One receives 98 points from Wine Advocate, 96 points from Vinous, and 99 points from James Suckling, averaging 97.7 points, thus matching the same high level as 2019, 2016, and 2013 across scores from the three critics.

Here we are talking about wines whose points rank at the top of the 100-point scale, which does not occur often. 2018 Opus One thus plays among the very best wines in the world.

opus-one-diagram-final.png 2019 Opus One has only received a preliminary barrel score from Wine Advocate of 97-99 points, so the above 98 Wine Advocate points are an average score.

Opus One Performance

Only once before have we had the opportunity to offer Opus One for investment – and it was the 2018 vintage. The quantities were extremely sparse, so very few had the chance to invest back in January 2022. If you invested then, you would have achieved an 11% return today. A strong start for a release that has only been available in the market for a few years.

However, looking at the price trends for 2013 and 2016 Opus One, which qualitatively match 2018, it looks promising. According to, the average listing prices for these two vintages have increased by an average of 10% annually since their respective releases in 2016 and 2019.

Quantity and the Threat from Wildfires

Opus One grew steadily during the 1980s and, according to Liv-ex, today produces about 300,000 bottles of wine per vintage. But besides the high scores that positively affect demand, there is another significant factor critical to 2018 Opus One.

The latest release is 2019, and the world will wait in vain for 2020 Opus One – simply because, according to Vinous, the vintage will not be commercially released, as the quantities are far too small for global demand. And the extremely sparse quantities are due to wildfires. Wildfires seem to be more and more frequent in Napa Valley.

“Wildfires have become the new normal in California, so as a community, we must work together to be more resilient and better prepared. Doing our part to prevent severe wildfires and mitigate losses for growers and farmworkers has become one of NVG’s greatest priorities. Our Wildfire Resources support the grape-growing community in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from fire disaster.”

The above quote comes from Napa Valley Winegrowers, and particularly large wildfires in 2017 and 2020 have left Napa Valley producers on high alert.

And what does that mean?
It means two things: One is that wildfires have become a normality in Napa Valley, and there is therefore a greater risk that producers may lose their yield or be pressured to harvest earlier. And earlier harvest means a different style. Thus, we do not know what the future holds – but we know the quality of what has already been produced – and the quality of 2018 Opus One is sublime.

RareWine Invest Opinion

Several essential elements make this investment case interesting. Firstly, a wine with both 98 and 99 points will always have inherent demand. And with a drinking window that, according to Wine Advocate, opens now and closes in 2058, it has an extremely long life ahead while the remaining quantities are reduced through continuous consumption.

Furthermore, comparable predecessors have shown the way and hinted at the potential – although they are still young in the market, and their actual potential is only expected to be realized as the quantities are reduced from the market.

Additionally, the threat from wildfires seems to have taken root in Napa Valley. And it means that we cannot be sure if future harvests will be lost. We only know the quality and quantities that exist right now. And here, 2018 Opus is an extremely strong player.

Opus One

2018 Opus One

Contact us via the contact form at the bottom of the page to learn more about your investment options or invest directly via the button below.

Invest now

*EUR 300 / bottle

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