2018 Optimus


All the 2018s were tasted from barrel. The 2018 Optimus shows both the style of the estate as well as the purity of the vintage with its rich, power-ful, full-bodied style and loads of black fruits and chocolate aromas and flavors. A blend of 53% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Verdot and a splash of Mourvèdre, drink it on release and over the following decade. Rating: 92-94 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (Sep 2020)

* This is a pre-shipment/primeur offer. All orders are accepted under the TERMS of this offer which differ from the terms of the rest of the site.

The 2018 Optimus marks the 20th vintage of our signature “crazy” blend. Back in 1998, when we started this journey in Paso Robles, Stephan had a vision or in his own words a “fantasy” of the blend he wanted to make.
The blend was inspired in part from drinking Syrah/Cabernet blends and in other part from realizing that Petit Verdot was unbelievable in California and always ripe due to the optimal weather conditions. In 1998, with a half-built winery, purchased fruit from Paso Robles, and an idea in mind, the first vintage Optimus was made.
This special blend is the reason why Stephan wanted to leave France and move somewhere where he had the freedom to make any type of blends. Today, the Optimus serves as the introduction to our lineup. Approachable and pleasurable, the Optimus makes you want to know more…
To commemorate the 20th anniversary of this spectacular wine, we have created a special anniversary label.
The 2018 Optimus features a reverse label, with a navy background and our L’Aventure logo embossed in a silver/gold foil. We will be using the same label throughout the years as our other wines reach their 20th anniversary."
Winemaker's notes (Sep 2020)

56% Syrah, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Verdot. 100% Estate grown fruit from L’Aventure Vineyard. Very low yield: 2.5 tons per acre. 60% new French oak and 40% 1-year-old French oak with malolactic fermentation in barrel. No fining, no filtering. Length of aging: 14 months. Drink:1-10 years.Winemaker's notes (Mar 2020)

A barrel sample blended of 53% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Petit Verdot, the 2018 Optimus is deep ruby-purple in color and scented of crème de cassis, baked blackberries, chocolate mint, wet clay, crushed blueberries and faint notions of lilac with an undercurrent of exotic spices. The palate is medium to full-bodied with lovely layering of spiced black and blue fruits, a detailed, finely pixelated frame and great freshness, finishing with loads of ripe fruit. I can’t wait to taste this from bottle! Rating: 94-96 Erin Brookes, www.RobertParker.com (Feb 2020)

The spirit of L'Aventure is most evident in Stephan's "Paso Blends", such as Optimus and Estate Cuvée. Both wines are Syrah/ Cabernet Sauvignon/ Petit Verdot blends. In these wines, as well as in our Rhône blend Côte à Côte, the blending of premium varietals increases the authenticity, complexity, and balance of the wines. In this adventurous spirit, we find the future of Paso Robles wines... great, balanced red blends.

Stephan Asseo, owner and winemaker at L'Aventure Winery, began making wine in 1982, following his education at L'Ecole Oenologique de Macon, Burgundy, France. In that same year, Stephan established Domaine de Courteillac in Bordeaux. He and his family later purchased Chateau Fleur Cardinal and Chateau Robin in the Cotes de Castillion, Bordeaux. Over the next 15 years, Stephan developed into an artisan winemaker of fastidious craftsmanship and gained a reputation as a maverick vigneron. However, his true desire was to be more innovative than AOC law would allow. In 1996, this led him, his wife, Beatrice and his three children, including his daughter Chloé on a quest for a great terroir, where he could pursue his ideal as a winemaker. After searching for over a year among the world's great wine fields, ranging from South Africa to Lebanon, Argentina to Napa, they found Paso Robles. Stephan and Beatrice immediately "fell in love" with the unique terroir of west side Paso Robles. The rolling topography of the Santa Lucia Mountain Range, the deep calcareous soils, and the maritime influences of the renowned Templeton Gap all combine to produce a world class wine country, with the potential to craft some of the world's greatest blends. It is here, in Paso Robles, that Stephan and his family began their adventure, "L'Aventure" in 1998.

Please make sure that you have read the terms of this offer which are different from those on the main website. If you are unclear as to what is involved in primeur purchases please do call us, but see the 'practical notes' below.


Prices are per case as listed 'in bond' (excluding duty paid and VAT).

Pre-Orders are a firm commitment to buy wines on release, as long as the release price sits within the upper and lower price bands set by you on the pre-order form. Pre-orders will be fulfilled subject to availability but providing this firm commitment to buy effectively gives you priority and is a good idea for the most desirable wines.

Wines listed on the website can be ordered in the usual way via the website wishlist order form. You can also send orders directly to our private client team via email. Please note that, for the most sought after wines, priority will be given to those who ordered the same wines last year and to those that have pre-ordered.

You can register your interest via the online wishlist form, by emailing privateclients@leaandsandeman.co.uk, or by calling 020 7221 1982. All wishlist requests are subject to availability and final confirmation. Inevitably, some wines will have to be allocated but please do not let that deter you from asking. We will do our best to satisfy all requests.


All orders will be confirmed by email and are contractually binding unless written cancellation is received within seven days of the confirmation date.

Invoices are raised at in bond prices. Duty and VAT invoices will be raised on request when the wines land in the UK.

Payment is required on sight of invoice, by cash, cheque, debit card or bank transfer. We reserve the right to levy a dunning charge of 2% per month on invoices unpaid after 30 days.


  • Shipment to our bond (at LCB Creek Road) and insurance are included in the in bond price.
  • Delivery is free to Lea and Sandeman / Elephant Storage accounts, both duty paid and in bond.
  • Other in bond deliveries are free subject to a minimum order from the offer of £1,000. Orders below this total will be charged at £16.50+ VAT when the wine invoices are issued. We will group deliveries and this is a charge for your entire purchase from this offer, not a per-case charge. Please inform us of in bond delivery addresses and account details at the time of ordering.
  • If the wines are required duty paid we will issue invoices at prevailing rate of duty and VAT when the wines arrive in the UK.
  • The wines will become available by the end of the year and should be shipped very early next year.