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Posts Tagged ‘L’Aventure’

Rule #1. Sustenance is key.

[Tea from clever avian tea set.] (more…)

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Quick recap of my passage into my third decade:

[My fantastic new vintage squash blossom necklace.]

I’d go into our riveting match of Pictionary, but I wouldn’t want to paint my family in a light that portrays us as genitalia- or toilet-obsessed. So here I am in a rare forlorn-looking moment. Or maybe I’m ogling the presents on the coffee table. (more…)

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Twitter put me in a real bind tonight.

Carey alerted me at work today that we received two exciting bottles from Winebid.com—a 2000 Frank Family Cabernet Franc and a 2004 L’Aventure Syrah. Now that I am an official Twitterer, I decided to twit pic my bottles and leave it up to my followers to decide which bottle would be opened. I waited.

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2004 L'Aventure Optimus, Paso Robles, CA

2004 L'Aventure Optimus, Paso Robles, CA

Carey gave me this 2004 Optimus for Christmas almost a year and a half ago after we thoroughly enjoyed it at a Thanksgiving the month before. We were excited to try this wine again, impressed not only by the overall quality of the unique blend, but by how it stacked up against some stiff competition that night. The Optimus was flanked by a 2004 Ferrari-Carano Cabernet Sauvignon ($40) and 2 bottles of the 2004 Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon ($80). All 3 wines were a hit, and with varied opinions and personal favorites, there really was no clear favorite of the night. One fairly unanimous conclusion was how the Optimus was the late bloomer of the pack, needing far more breathing time than the others once the cork had been popped.

On the day of my birthday, all day at work, I struggled to decide what the special wine of the evening was going to be. In my indecision, I delayed Carey’s dinner planning and trip to the grocery store. Not knowing how she might lay out the menu, she lovingly waited patiently for me, because that night, the wine choice came first.

At 5:00 PM, I strained the wine into my duck decanter, surprised not to find a speck of sediment after over 3 years in the bottle.

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…

Recorked and reopened for Round 2.

Recorked and reopened for Round 2.

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.

$45-$50

-Rob

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