It’s been a year or so since we’ve covered the wines of Paso Robles-based Opolo, and then only spottily. Today we correct that oversight with a look at 5 current releases.
2019 Opolo Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles – Nothing overly earth-shattering here, this cab making for an approachable but straightforward experience that rests of currants and earth, then notes of fresh sage and — above all — ample tannin. It’s drinkable today, but while it doesn’t feel classically “tight,” one feels it could certainly benefit from a few years in the cellar to let more red fruits develop. I certainly wouldn’t complain. B+ / $36
2020 Opolo Summit Creek Zinfandel – Rich, juicy, and not at all jammy, this is a more immersive expression of zinfandel with its fruit revealed in layers — brambly blackberry with notes of dark chocolate, graphite, and some earthy forest floor in the mix. Rich and seductive, it’s a refreshing and focused wine, without that gummy quality that mars so many zins. A real treat. A- / $20
2020 Opolo Mountain Zinfandel – A much different animal than the Summit Creek zin, overloaded with saccharine fruit running to cherry and blackberry jam, plus milk chocolate and a Christmassy spice note. None of this comes together in a meaningful way, leading to a caustic finish that is overblown with blunt, candied sweetness, never coalescing into a cohesive experience. My least favorite wine in this lineup by far. C / $30
2019 Opolo Grand Rouge Paso Robles – A Rhone-style blend of 49% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 19% Counoise, and 2% Mourvèdre. Rather gummy on the palate, there’s a certain saccharine quality to this wine from the start, with notes of maraschino cherry and milk chocolate sweetening up a palate that pushes at red berries and rhubarb, with notes of brown sugar on the unctuous finish. Exceptionally sweet, it doesn’t evoke the Rhone, alas. B- / $22
2019 Opolo Maestro Paso Robles – “A beautiful blend of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Counoise,” this wine offers a much more immersive and rounded experience than the Grand Rouge expression, with notes of tar and tobacco counterbalanced by blackberry, currant, and a thick layer of spice that works well alongside the tobacco notes. Much more evocative of Rhone-style wines, lightly beefy with that classic syrah element, the wine’s a bit on the unctuous, gummy side but full of complex flavor. B+ / $34