2011 L'Aventure "Optimus Estate" Paso Robles Red Blend SKU #1144637

Price: $59.99

RP 94 ST 92 VN 92
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Staff Reviews

  • Bryan Brick
    By: Bryan Brick
    11/13/2013
    K&L Staff Member
    I first tasted the L’Aventure wines over a decade ago when I was just a hard working rookie in this business. I didn’t know much about wine at that point to be frankly honest but I was eager to learn and was willing to taste everything I could. I remember loving the L’Aventure wines but not really understanding why they were so great. Years have gone by and I certainly know a bit more that I used to but I now get why these wines are so darned good. First is location, great vineyards start with great location and this is about as good as it gets in Paso. Second is that Stephen thinks outside of the box. He left his home and family wineries in Bordeaux, mostly due to the constraining laws of the AOC to settle in a relatively unknown place at the time to make wines based in Cab and Syrah blends. It takes a special kind of man with an even more special vision to pull something like this off. Mind you this was well before the bottom dropped out of Syrah and people were forced to blend the sadly maligned varietal into Cab on a regular basis as a safety valve. All the background aside, and trust me there is more, the wines have always been of an uncompromising quality and an unmistakable house style. Big is always the word I use to describe these wines, they are full bore, heavily textured wines with generally higher alcohol levels. However there is always precision and balance in everything Stephan makes. This Optimus is as good as or better than any I’ve had with powerful aromatics of boysenberry preserves, braised pork belly, cassis liqueur and dried lavender. On the palate the wine is immense and dense in its scope with layers of spicy oak, bloody meat, torched sugar and a wealth of black fruits. Drinkable now with a hour or two of decanting or stow this away for 4-10 years, either way you’ll have a powerful but deft wine on your table.

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