2015 L'Aventure Optimus Willow Creek District

Year: 2015
Appellation: Paso Robles
Country: USA - California
Wine Advocate: 92-94
Jeb Dunnuck: 92
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.9%
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60% Syrah, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 19% Petit Verdot

"The entry level wine is the Optimus cuvee, and it's normally a mix of mostly Syrah, with smaller amounts of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2015 Optimus will be the first vintage where there's some Mourvedre in the blend, and its inky purple color is followed by great aromatics of cassis, black raspberries, licorice and roasted herbs. Picking up more chalky minerality on the palate, this full-bodied, charming, forward 2015 will drink nicely right out of the gate.

One of the reference point estates in Paso Robles is unquestionably Stephan Asseo's l'Aventure. Located just off of highway 46, in the middle of the appellation, Stephan now producers six red cuvees: The entry level Optimus based on Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot; The Cote a Cote based on Grenache, with smaller parts Mourvedre and Syrah; The Demoiselles based largely on Mourvedre; the Cuvee Chloe, named after Stephan's daughter and always blend of 70/30 Syrah and Grenache; The Estate Cuvee based on Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon (there's always a small portion of Petit Verdot); and lastly, the For Her cuvee, based on Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache and Viognier. In addition to these, he makes a sensational Rhone themed white. This estate has just completed construction on a new cave, and 2016 will be the first vintage completely aged here." (WA)

"The entry level cuvée is the 2015 Optimus and in 2015 it’s a blend of 60% Syrah, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Petit Verdot. It’s a pretty, elegant version of this cuvée that reveals a deep ruby color, notes of black raspberries, blackberries, violets, and leafy herbs, medium to full-bodied richness and a seamless, silky texture. Drink it over the coming 5-7 years." (JD)