Mission Codename Maximus Decimus Meridius
“One of the reference point estates in Paso Robles is unquestionably Stephan Asseo’s l’Aventure.” – Wine Advocate
That’s right! This is consistently one of the best Paso reds, year after year. 95 points, and hard to match the value at our price. Not much to think about here if you’ve had it before, and if you haven’t, it’s about time you experienced a pleasure bent L’Aventure. We have a small allocation to share, and that’s it. Once it’s gone it’s GONE until next year.
Stephan Asseo has made a name for himself with the L’Aventure label. Collectors LOVE his wines - to put it mildly. For 17 years he made wine in France but grew frustrated with the French regulations. So, he set out with his wife Beatrice to California. He wanted the freedom to make blends, to experiment with a less restrictive winemaking style. So, he founded L’Aventure in 1998 and started cranking out hugely popular wines like this Cabernet/Syrah/Petit Verdot blend for example. Out the gate, he began racking up BIG scores and he remains one of Paso’s most respected and coveted producers to this day.
As Wine Advocate says “Asseo has a unique perspective on winemaking in Paso Robles, having made wine in Bordeaux for 17 years before relocating to California. He has done a great job applying knowledge accrued in Bordeaux to the more laissez-faire environment of Paso Robles.”
Optimus is the entry-level L’Aventure, but it crushes other higher-end wines. There’s hardly anything like it. “As seamless as they come” called it Jeb Dunnuck reviewing the 2019. The electrified cherry, red raspberries, and darker black fruit shine bright. Fantastic minerality too, with graphite, gorgeous purple flowers, and peppery spice. An absolute dream to drink and it’ll stay that way for many years to come.
We wish this was available year-round, but they always sell out fast.
95 Points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“A blend of 58% Syrah, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon and 11% Petit Verdot, the 2020 Optimus has a deep ruby color and a deep core of red and black cherries, chargrill, thyme, charcuterie and desiccated violet. The full-bodied palate is light on its feet with juicy acidity and approachable grainy tannins, and it has a long, layered finish. Best After 2023.”
What the Winery Says
2020 'Optimus' Willow Creek District Proprietary Red
- Stephan Asseo
- 58% Syrah, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Petit Verdot
- Willow Creek District, Paso Robles, Central Coast
- L’Aventure Estate
- 2.5 tons per acre
- 14 months
- 100% French oak (65% new)