The 2005 Optimus (51% Syrah, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Petit Verdot) barely qualifies as a Rhone Ranger, but it offers classic chocolate, cassis, espresso, and subtle wood notes along with a dense ruby/purple hue, gorgeous concentration, and plenty of spice, cedar, and a Pauillac-like complexity and richness. This serious effort is more French than Californian. (RP)
Dark purple. Dark cherry and licorice on the nose, with subtle spice and underbrush qualities adding interest. Lush, creamy dark berry flavors possess display impressive weight but also good energy and focus, with slow-mounting tannins adding shape. Finishes with impressive sweet persistence and a gentle tannic bite. Owner/winemaker Stephan Asseo likes the touch of austerity that Petit Verdot adds to the blend. (JR)
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