About The Wine
Paso Robles is known for being the California wine region with few rules, and they like it that way there. It gives winemakers the freedom to follow their instincts rather than expectations or tradition. This mindset, along with the fantastic soils that sit under the vineyards of the Central California Coast region, make Paso just right for L’Aventure and its owner/winemaker Stephan Asseo.
Trained in France where he owned a winery in Bordeaux, Asseo felt confined by the rules of the region. So he left France and searched the globe for the right terroir for his next vineyards and winery, a region where he could craft world-class wine under his own rules. Asseo and his wife Beatrice decided Paso Robles was right for them, and they began their adventure making some of Paso’s finest wines in 1998.
The L’Aventure Optimus 2019 is primarily made of estate-grown Syrah with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot blended in. These grapes thrive in the calcareous soils of Paso Robles, created from millions of years of marine bones, shells, diatoms, and plankton turning into limestone. Under those soils sit clay, metals, and quartz.
A long growing season with heavy diurnal shifts benefits the grapes that go into Optimus, too. After the grapes are harvested at their optimal ripeness, they undergo alcoholic fermentation in 89% new French oak and 11% 1-year-old French oak with full malolactic fermentation.
Aging: 14 months in barrel
Tasting Notes: 57% Syrah, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 12% Petit Verdot. The wine has dark fruits, ripe cherries, cassis, and graphite on the nose. On the palate, it’s elegant and full-bodied with plum, pepper, chocolate, and smoke, with polished tannins and a finish that goes on and on. Drink now through the next 10 years. This is a wine to pair with red meat: steak, hearty chili, lamb, or bacon.
Extremely aromatic with ripe cherry and berry aromas, as well as flowers and citrus. Medium to full body with fine, polished tannins and a long, caressing finish. This is really well done andone of the most balanced L’Aventures I have encountered. Syrah, cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot. Drinkable now, but better in two or three years. ~96 James Suckling
The 2019 Optimus should be snatched up by savvy readers. Based on 57% Syrah, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Petit Verdot, it just about jumps out of the glass with gorgeous cassis, floral, pepper, and graphite-like aromas and flavors. As seamless as they come, this full-bodied, elegant, pleasure-bent 2019 is going to evolve for a decade. Stephan Asseo, who’s assisted more and more by assistant winemaker Patrick Davies, continues to keep his L’Aventure estate near the top of the pyramid in Paso Robles. This report looks at the 2019s and 2020s, and both appear to be beautiful vintages. The 2019s are some of the finest wines I’ve tasted at this estate and have a rare mix of power and vibrancy, with incredible aromatics and sensational purity and precision on the palate. ~94 Jeb Dunnuck
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