Jeb Dunnuck – 94 points
Starting with the 2017s and with what could be considered the entry-level wine from Stephan Asseo’s l’Aventure estate, the 2017 Optimus is based on 49% Syrah, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Petit Verdot that was brought up in 60% new French oak. It reveals a vivid purple color as well as notes blackberries, ground herbs, caramelized meat, and hints of chocolate. Beautifully balanced and full-bodied, it has a seamless, incredibly delicious style and is a brilliant introduction to the wines of this estate. It will keep for upwards of a decade.
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate – 93 points
Blended of 49% Syrah, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Petit Verdot, the deep ruby colored 2017 Optimus opens with aromas of fresh fruits—wild blackberries, crushed blueberries and sour cherries—along with loamy earth, touches of cured meats, saline and olives, very fresh and crunchy on the nose. Medium to full-bodied and silky, it has great intensity and interplay of red, black and blue fruits with spices and savory touches. It has a very classy frame of finely pixelated tannins and wonderful freshness, finishing long and lifted. This shows excellent restraint! It’s drinking beautifully now but will reward another 3-5 years in the cellar.