L'Aventure Optimus 2008
Other Red Blends from Central Coast, California
48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Syrah, 24% Petit Verdot – is simply luscious. Integrated aromas of fir, graphite, and acacia make an excellent nose. A focused attack of crushed flowers, geranium oil, cherries, and plums wash over the palate, and finish with orange peel and toast. Best Optimus ever?
International Wine Cellar - "Inky purple. An explosively perfumed bouquet displays scents of blackberry, violet, rose and incense, with a strong note of smoky Indian spices. Open-knit, sappy dark fruit flavors show no rough edges and pick up notes of licorice and mint with air. Alluringly silky on the finish, which repeats the floral and spice notes."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Optimus, a blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Syrah, and 24% Petit Verdot, plays it close to the vest. Graphite, espresso, chocolate, and black currant notes slowly emerge from the glass of this dense ruby/purple-colored wine. In the mouth, it is an elegant, medium-bodied effort rather than the broad, blockbuster style of past vintages. Fruity, pure, and impeccably well-made, it should age effortlessly for 10-12 years. "
L'Aventure was founded in 1998 by a French winemaker, Stephan Asseo. After Stephan graduated enology school in Burgundy, the Asseo family bought their first estate, Domaine de Courteillac, in the Bordeaux area in 1982. Later, the family purchased additional properties: Château Robin and Château Fleur-Cardinale in Saint-Emilion. Stephan raised these properties to a level of great quality, while managing some other well-established domaines such as Château Guillot-Clauzel in Pomerol and Château Corbin in St Emilion.
Stephan saw in the New World a unique opportunity to expand his experience, while gaining more freedom in viticulture and vinification. He began by looking all over California for land, including Napa/Sonoma and Santa Barbara counties, but it was the terroir and climate of Paso Robles that impressed him the most. View all L'Aventure Wines
About Central CoastView a map of Central Coast wineries
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Notable FactsGrape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.