L'Aventure Optimus 2004
Stephan Asseo left Bordeaux to fulfill his dream of creating handcrafted Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon blends. His adventure landed him in Paso Robles California where he found the perfect terroir to complete his vision. He has spent the last 10 years creating a world class vineyard from which he meticulously composes top quality, handcrafted blends.
Night OneThe color is thick inky black, turning to purple only at the very edges.Right after opening the nose is surprisingly closed, blackcurrant and herbs, but not overwhelming. Twenty minutes later and the smells are coming forward. Blackcurrant jam, plums, eucalyptus, and molasses.Huge on the palate, jammy with just a little tobacco, followed by vanilla and oak. Big big big. Tannins were big, too, sweet and smooth, but very drying.Night TwoAgain, rather a closed nose giving out blackcurrant and some sweeter vanilla-tinged blue- and blackberries.On the palate blackcurrants again dominate. Now, though, there is nothing green at all. Instead, it is jammy fruit, vanilla, and sweet smooth tannins. Tannins are still incredibly powerful. After the finish, after the wine is gone, an aftertaste echo offer some promise for the future, giving hints of violets and lilac.This clearly need a lot of cellar time to integrate the wood and soften the tannins. Will the near "fruit bomb" quality ratchet down and allow the more complex florals and maybe more come through? I would guess "yes," but can't make any promises. That said, this is darned good right now and even more promising for the future.
Right out of the bottle, the nose was astringent and locked-up as tight as a drum, giving away almost nothing as to what I might expect in a few hours’ time. Layers slowly began to unlock, and aromas shyly began to peak out as the wine took on oxygen. The Syrah/Cabernet/Petite Verdot blend was inky black to the core and rich purple where light could penetrate. I expected this wine to be full of rich blackfruit. As the wine continued to unwind, the flavor profile, dominated by spice, black currant, blueberry, anise (licorice), and floral touches, began to make more sense. All the flavor elements were there, despite the mouth-feel, which was just slightly chalky, but something was off. The intense, tannic, juicy blend was just not harmonizing, as it clearly should be capable of . That was, until a few hours ago… With a third of the bottle remaining and an amazing smelling homemade Pad Thai simmering on the stove, the cork came out on the second night, and a change had occurred. Carey and I noticed the change immediately. The tannins had rounded off, the juiciness transformed into lushness, and an element of toasty oak, vanilla, and molasses miraculously appeared. Interestingly enough, I am not the only person who has noted a similar evolution with the 2004. I found another wine blogger with almost identical tasting notes over a two-day trial. There is no doubt that if I had another bottle of the L’Aventure Optimus, I would pop the cork a full 24 hours in advance and just let it sit. It really is the only way to appreciate this wine. Perhaps a better idea would be to set this wine aside until 2015 and see what happens then; the potential could be stunning. my blog: http://corksandcaftans.wordpress.com/category/corks/
This wine is deep ruby, from center to edge, with the classic Optimus nose of cassis, blueberry and cola. Broad flavors on the pallate of tar, dark berries and licorice, with a long delicious finish.