TNS: 2000 Chateau d'Issan, 2005 Opus One

Excellent dinner with a buddy, pan seared filet off a gas grill with a red wine reduction glaze, mashed sweet potatoes and green beans.

Decanted both outside in perfect low-60s weather. Ok, I cheated with small pours on the d’Issan right out of the box, and while it was excellent, with its tight red Margaux berries, the floral notes fanned out with a longer decant, as we enjoyed both wines over the course of a nice dinner. The d’Issan is pretty classic Bordeaux from a ripe but quality year. Richness and depth to the palate with a range of red fruits to darks and plums, mossy wet earth and maduro tobacco. Tannins are sweet and integrating. For my palate, this wine is entering a lovely drinking window. It’s in the zone right now and should hold for quite some time. The vintage seems to showcase the merlot best in this wine.

The 2005 Opus is a rich powerhouse. On the nose, I might have guessed a Pauilliac, showcasing some classic dark cassis, dry earth and pencil shavings. The palate exudes California power. The wine stood tall against a very rich filet, both competing for primacy, but to be candid, eventually overloading my palate. Loads of dark ripe fruit, mostly juicy blackcherries and ripe plums, chocolate cake, cinnamon spice and vanilla, all rolled into a fairly opulent presence. Loved a glass, force-finished a second. Returned back to the d’Issan, which while from a ripe vintage, holds onto a better balance for my palate than the Opus. And the nose, just wow, could have kept my rather large nose in the glass, enjoying that Bordeaux perfume all night. Well, until another attractive guest spontaneously arrived.

My buddy’s lady friend showed around 9:30 PM. We all enjoyed another glass of something innocuous, then I sorta got the hint that I was a third-wheel, so excused myself, leaving sans desert and my buddy with a dumb Cheshire cat smile on his face as the door hit my arse on the way out . . . .

When Alfert swims on his back that proboscis acts as a snorkel

Nobody does 3somes anymore?..what kind of prude society have we become?

Back to the wines…and what is the fractional cost of the d’Issan vs Opus, to boot? I buy both napa cab and bdx, but when I think about it, which I try not to do, the relative cost of buying napa cab is depressing

I think Opus is 3x to d’Issan. Easy choice to me; frankly, easy choice to me even if priced the same. If you want a rich, opulent, multi-layered wine, perhaps you go there, but if you want a fresh, complex wine, for me at least, there is a better choice. Speaking generalities, of course.

And Marc, a third bottle would have been a bit hedonistic for this old guy. :wink:

[smileyvault-ban.gif] Lol Robert, Jim is clearly rolling his eyes at me
…yes, I’m sure everyone will be in an uproar of my poor choice of humor

D’issan is a fav margaux of mine…the 2003 I popped with Robert exhibited one of the most gorgeous perfumes that still haunts me. I need to pop the '06 again…I remember really enjoying it a few yrs back.

I think you were equally in love with the 2004.


The 2006 is showing beautifully. If you are in short supply wait a couple of years; can do with a little extra aging.

I think the best under radar Issan is the 2006, but the best I have tasted is the 2010, which was a banner vintage in Margaux, Emmanuel Cruse had over a decade to sort out the property, and the result was an utterly brilliant Issan.

Yes. ‘06 Issan is great value and not far behind ‘05.

Great notes Robert, and clear evidence that you are a Cali cab whore at heart.

Thats ridiculous…Robert doesn’t like Cali cab [wink.gif]

I was with Dr. Castro, who Corey can confirm, is the only cool cat that can pull off a velvet blazer in summer without breaking a sweat. He loves his Californications.

I am having a hard time taking your note on Opus One seriously, as I like a lot of the same stuff you do and I’ve poured out more than one glass of Opus One before. I’ll just assume you didn’t bring it and you’re just being polite. [snort.gif]

You have poured out a glass of wine? And opus one at that? You should be ashamed!

Life’s too short to drink Opus One. It’s a 7-Eleven wine.

Ha! Context is everything. :slight_smile:

You can send it to me then!

Great stuff, Robert - glad the Issan 00 was good. Have you ever tried the 01? It was four years ago, so maybe the 00 has pulled ahead now, but when we tried them together by accident, the 01 was clearly showing better: less soft with a better framework.

I have never focused too much on Opus as it is too damned expensive. Have had a couple bottles over the years and tastes here and there either at OL’s or tasting bars. My i pression has been, obviously without a lot of tasting, is that it is nothing special young, but that it can evolve into a beauty. Now, never had the 2005, and limited experience as I said. But per my earlier post, gimme 3 or 4 bottles of the d’Issan vs a single of the Opus. I think I bought some d’Issan in 2015.