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93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

The 2003 Optimus Estate, a blend of 64% Syrah, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Petit Verdot, exhibits a dense ruby/purple color as well as complex aromas of blueberries, graphite, sweet cherries, spice box, and earth. Full-bodied, rich, and Bordeaux-like, with even greater texture and opulence in addition to moderately high tannin, it will benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring, and should last for 15. This is a brilliant wine from a Frenchman who has captured the magic of Paso Robles. 93+ points. (RP) (8/2006)

92 points Jeb Dunnuck

Needing a solid decant to show well, the 2003 L'Aventure Optimus is a blend of 64% Syrah, 33% Cabernet, and 3% Petite Verdot that was aged for 16 months in 100% new French oak. Bright and high toned on the nose, with violet, smoked plum, and blacker styled fruits giving way to more exotic meat, floral, peach pit, and leather nuances, the wine is full-bodied on the palate and concentrated, showing solid acidity and plenty of richness that carries into the finish. Still youthful and relatively unevolved, with ripe tannin on the finish, this is superb now with about 2 hours in the decanter, but should continue to evolve gracefully for another decade. This might be slightly controversial given the wild, slightly exotic aromatic profile, but I'm a fan. (2/2011)

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