2011 L'Aventure "Optimus Estate" Paso Robles Red
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Leading off the 2011s reds, the 2011 Optimus is a rocking value that gives more than a glimpse into the style and quality of this estate. A blend of 50% Syrah, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 17% Petit Verdot and spending 14 months in 70% new French oak, it delivers fantastic black and blue fruits, tobacco, violets and cedar aromas and flavors to go with a full-bodied, supple and beautifully polished mouthfeel that stays fresh and lively. Gorgeous all around, it will drink nicely through 2021, if not longer. Drink now-2021. I was blown away by these wines. Easily the most impressive lineup I’ve tasted from proprietor Stephan Asseo, these 2011s show the purity and focus of the vintage, yet balance it with incredible richness and texture that never seems cumbersome or heavy. The 2012s are no less rich, yet have impeccable purity and texture, as well as brilliant overall focus and structure that will allow them to evolve gracefully. Make no mistake about it though, these are all big, ripe wines; I find them utterly compelling and hard to resist.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(50% syrah, 33% cabernet sauvignon and 17% petit verdot; 70% new French oak): Bright purple. Ripe cassis and blackberry on the nose, with complicating notes of vanilla, pipe tobacco, violet and candied licorice. Lush and supple on the palate, with sweet, powerful dark berry flavors sharpened by gentle acidity. Vibrant and focused on the finish, with smooth tannins and a late note of candied plum.
From the winery: "Optimus sets the pace for the vintage with a delicious and classic blend. Purple hued, Optimus 2011 offers aromas of fresh blueberries, sharp cola, and a little anise. The attack is soft and round in the mouth. Firm acidity across the palate stands behind complex tobacco leaf, violet, and red and dark berry flavors. A soft finish, with some spicy wood notes, this wine is very characteristic of the vintage."