L'Aventure is one of the hottest wineries on the up-and-coming Westside of Paso Robles wine region. A beautiful blend of Cabernet/Syrah blend, the Optimus is a big, delicious red.
94 Points James Suckling: "Grilled meat, bacon fat, tobacco and olives to the nose that follow through to a medium- to full-bodied palate with rich, creamy tannins. 58% syrah, 31% cabernet sauvignon, 11% petit verdot. Drink now or hold."
92 Points Jeb Dunnuck: "Starting off with the 2020 Optimus, it's a blend of 58% Syrah, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 11% Petit Verdot that spent 14 months in 65% new French oak. It displays a solid deeper purple hue to go with a peppery, darker berry, graphite, and smoky earth-driven bouquet. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has a round, supple, mouth-filling texture, quality tannins, plenty of mid-palate depth, and outstanding length."
92 Points Decanter: "Tobacco, tar, dark chocolate, floral touches, bitter blood orange, scrubland herbs - so much going on the nose, really aromatic and expressive in a dark, sticky way. Gorgeously lifted and lively, full of bright and crunchy red fruits that you're just not expecting after the nose, this is direct but it has a pristine quality to it. Tannis are fine and the whole taste is just so clean. Juicy, mouthwatering and joyful, really bright and playful, I love the whole lifted tone, almost verging on tangy and sour but just keeps the depth. You get a bit of saltiness too on the finish. I like this a lot, especially the touch of metallic, iron-filing, blood on the finish. Characterful. The first vintage to use an optical sorted at harvest. Ageing 14 months in French oak (65% new and 35% in one year old). Drinking Window: 2024-2036."
Robert Parker: "....Consistently thrilling wines come from l’Aventure, which is run with incredible talent and passion by St. Emilion native Stephan Asseo. His 2016s are incredible efforts, and the 2017 more Rhône blends are certainly in the same ballpark. Due to the heat spikes at harvest, Bordeaux varieties were much more difficult and hit or miss."
The L'Aventure Optimus is a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot that entices with a tangy cherry, chocolate and mineral-inflected bouquet. The palate is redolent of mixed berry pie, with peppery spice and a dose of saddle leather. But this isn't a total fruit bomb, there's plenty of acidity to keep it fresh, and subtle tannins.
A fantastic red from Bedrock winemaker Morgan-Twain Peterson, one of the hottest young winemakers in California.
90 Points Robert Parker "Best Buy": "A Mediterranean blend of Zinfandel, Carignan, Alicante Bouchet, Syrah and assorted mixed blacks fermented with native yeasts and aged in primarily neutral containers (15% in new French oak), it is a California version of a high-class Cotes du Rhone. Lots of berry fruit intermixed with lavender, pepper and meaty black cherry and black currant flavors emerge from this satisfying, round, expansive, generous red. An outstanding, killer value that should provide pleasure over the next 1-2 years. If there is a better value in California wine, I would like to know about it."
....Morgan Twain-Peterson is one of the most impressive young winemakers I have ever met, and it’s not just because he grew up the son of a famous producer. Making wines at this level requires talent, passion, hard work and a great palate, none of which is easily inherited. Along with Mike Officer of Carlisle, Twain-Peterson is on a mission to rediscover what he calls California’s old-vine “heritage” vineyards. These historic sites planted by California’s early immigrants, often home to unknown field blends, remain some of the most fascinating vineyards in California. Officer and Twain-Peterson were tired of seeing these old sites gobbled up by industrial-scale wineries, so they decided to do something about it. Bravo."
New York Times: "This red blend is a perpetually excellent value from Bedrock Wine Company which makes a wide variety of terrific, unmanipulated wines from old California vineyards. The array of groups includes zinfandel, carignan, syrah and petite sirah, and vintages are mixed as well, a welcome tactic. The result is an easygoing, lively wine that is delicious and versatile. Too often, inexpensive California reds are inflated with oak flavorings and other enhancements intended to imitate the characteristics of more expensive wines. Not this one, and it makes you think about how good these humble wines could be if other producers would permit them the dignity of authenticity."
An amazing value from the South of France - hurry!
95 Points Decanter: "60% Syrah, 40% Grenache. Lovely rich opulent and floral, black berry and plum nose, the palate is big with well layered fruit, attractively firm but soft tannin and hints of oak, a big wine with a lovely finish. *Gold Medal Winner Decanter Asia Wine Awards.*
Robert Parker: "A blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache, the Cotes du Rhone Saint-Esprit is a screaming value. If offers bold black cherry and blueberry fruit aromas, lively fruit flavors, silky tannins and a crisp, lengthy mocha-tinged finish. Drink this fun, bouncy little wine over the next couple of years."