Review: Wines of Opolo, 2024 Releases

Review: Wines of Opolo, 2024 Releases

We’ve been covering the wines of Paso Robles-based Opolo for years now, and today we look at five recent releases — all hearty, wintertime reds — from the operation. All hail from the 2021 vintage.

2021 Opolo Grand Rouge Red Blend Paso Robles – A blend of counoise, syrah, and grenache that punches well above its price band, this wine offers a sweet, fruit-forward attack that pops with strawberry, milk chocolate, and vanilla, offering a very lengthy journey into its berry-driven finish. Notes of cherry cola give the finish an even more expressive, youthful character, with creamy vanilla custard notes clinging to the back in. Bright and summery, but right on target. Great value. A- / $22

2021 Opolo Maestro Red Blend Paso Robles – 60% syrah, 24% grenache, 16% counoise — somehow tastes like a dense pinot noir. Bold black cherry notes, then a big punch of licorice pushes things forward. Notes of dark chocolate, black tea, and an edge of rosemary provide a more brooding quality to the wine as it approaches its lengthy, rumbling finish. Mysterious yet engaging. Worth dipping in to. B+ / $36

2021 Opolo Rhapsody Red Blend Paso Robles Willow Creek District – A Bordeaux-style blend of 75% cabernet sauvignon, 13% malbec, 6% merlot, 4% petit verdot, and 2% cabernet franc. Opulent and fruit-forward, the wine offers the wholly expected notes of plums, cassis, and bittersweet chocolate, its fruit slowly fading to reveal a lightly peppered, gently herbal quality. Lumbering and lingering, the wine’s finish of rhubarb and a light note of raisin give it a sweet-and-bitter dichotomy which, for the most part, works pretty well. A little overblown when consumed solo, it’s definitely a strong food pairing candidate. A- / $50

2021 Opolo Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles – Opolo’s entry-level cabernet is nonetheless a fully formed wine, albeit a straightforward one, thick with cassis and layered with notes of mixed green herbs. Ample dark chocolate and some anise give the wine an engaging backbone, though nuance is hard to pick out from the rather tannic core. More dark cassis and black cherry on the finish. More intense than expected. B / $42

2021 Opolo Cabernet Sauvignon Willow Creek District – This smaller-parcel offering of Opolo’s Paso Robles cabernet immediately cuts an even more savory, pepper-driven character, the anise taking hold against a backdrop of earthy, brooding mushroomy qualities. Overtones of green onion and tar make for some rough sledding, though the wine opens up — slowly — with significant time in glass to show off some black cherry fruit and a layer of dark chocolate. The heavy tannins and an overwhelming earthiness make this a wine you’ll need to commit to for the evening. Some cellar time wouldn’t hurt. B- / $55

2021 Opolo Grand Rouge Red Blend Paso Robles




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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