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2018 L'Aventure Estate Cuvée

Red Blend

  • USA
  • California
  • Central Coast
  • Paso Robles Willow Creek District

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Community Tasting Note

  • Order66 Does not like this wine: 74 points

    October 16, 2020 - Potent alcoholic scents paired with mint and cherries upon pouring. Served mildly chillled due to the abv stated and that was not enough. It’s really hard to enjoy the jammy flavours the wine offers, simply due to the insane amount of heat that comes through the wine. It didn’t pair with a ribeye, and it’s rather hard to drink on its’ own 2+ hours later. Tried some more the next day after spending overnight in a decanter and it turned out even more alcoholic and one dimensional at room temp (67° in this house). Sadly a waste of money.

    1 person found this helpful 2,925 views


  • RayT commented:

    11/23/20, 4:51 PM - I drank this at L'aventure a couple days ago. This is in no way ready to drink now. It needs to lay down a minimum of 2 years. Robert Parker recommends 3-5 years. As you stated the alcohol has not resolved and neither has the tannins.

  • CotoDC commented:

    12/7/20, 4:04 PM - Interesting review and not at all consistent with personal experience with this wine or professional reviews. Perhaps the bottle was flawed or had shut down since it's very young. These wines tend to be higher alcohol which is indicative of wines from the region. If this review is intended to be an indictment of higher alcohol wines, it's not very useful in this forum. Otherwise, I have found that this specific cuvee benefits from substantial aging, upwards of 10 years for peak drinking.

  • HarryDola commented:

    12/18/20, 3:05 PM - You drank the wine far too early, need to wait 2 years minimum. I’ve just started drinking my 2016 L’Aventure wines. But even early a 74 is unduly harsh.

  • Order66 commented:

    12/18/20, 4:18 PM - Hello everyone, and thank you for your insight. Looks like my review inspired some commentary which I think is always great.

    To address a few things on this thread- I’m not a big Parker fan, or really any critic for that matter unless it is Jancis Robinson and even then it’s very lightly. So I don’t really watch for their drinking windows. Not to mention I’ve found that many times wines rated high by wine critics aren’t always our favorites.

    As far as my score, I think wines with merit can be found around 80pts, so a 74 isn’t much of a condemnation from me as much as a sub 60. But I will say that I was not really a fan of this particular wine, mainly due to the over bearing heat/alcohol. I will disagree with the notion that this region is the reason why the alcohol is so high. I’ve seen Tablas Creek make wines of purity, power and grace while staying in more moderate levels of alcohol. I will put that burden on the winery/winemaker to disprove.

    This wine was not flawed, I know that much, because we also ended up acquiring some of the Chloe and For Her and they all had that same heat, which is another reason why we think it’s the winemaking here and not the region. We do have one more of these so we’ll wait another 5-7 years before we open it, but so far we’re not terribly impressed by L’Aventure. We’ve had some pretty boozy Saxum wines that we’ve really liked, and enjoy Chateauneuf so I wouldn’t say it’s a stylistic thing as much as it’s obtuse, awkward alcohol in these wines.

    I invite any further commentary. Especially if there’s any particular food or serving recs for these wines that may improve the experience. Thank you all for the comments

  • CotoDC commented:

    12/18/20, 4:42 PM - Calling out alcohol as a flaw in an alcoholic beverage makes one question the evaluative standard being applied. Whether 12% or 16% I just look for the wine to be delicious...but I tend to over-simplify things. Thank you for sharing your views.

  • wdcwineguys commented:

    3/17/21, 12:00 PM - I echo what some others have posted. And yes, Paso is known for higher alcohol wines. It’s a hot climate and they end up with ripe fruit.

    Using the 100-point scale, anything below an 80 is often considered mediocre or flawed. If you don’t like the style of the wine, that’s fine, but I agree with other comments here that a 74 on a wine that’s young seems more like angst towards the style/price of the wine and not it’s true quality.

  • WyattTheSomm commented:

    1/4/22, 12:14 AM - Looked at your profile you clearly have your own rating system & your consistent (to be fair) but is it fair to bomb a wine with a 74 and the many other you have when 90% of people don’t agree with you think who’s really in the wrong here just don’t rate it man…. I saw you didnt rate OPUS 2013 because it wasn’t fair and needed time so why not this wine???? seems like you were having a bad day or something like did the winery treat you badly via their club cause this seems really out of pocket. Happy to see a lot of sense in the comments.

  • Order66 commented:

    1/4/22, 3:13 PM - Hey Wyatt. Thanks for your comment.

    I feel like your comment was directed more at my understanding of what constitutes a good wine.

    I see that you also have the word somm in your name so by default I’ll admit that you’re well more qualified than me to make a professional observation about the wine.

    Where I feel it differs is that this was *my* interpretation of the wine over the course of two to three days, not yours. As you should know, taste/opinion is relative. Respectfully, I don’t need you, nor 90% of other people telling me what I like and what I don’t (not saying they did). Nor do I need you pointing out that because I sit outside of the 90%, that I’m out of pocket or somewhere along those lines. I’m not going to sit here and defend my own criteria for judging what makes a wine good or not because it is, inherently, my own criteria, not anyone else’s.

    What I will say is that the folks at L’Aventure were more than gracious and friendly during my visit. To address your multiple question marked question: I simply wasn’t a fan of their wines due to what I consider the extraction/heat that comes through on them. Opus One has class and grace and freshness that I admire in most wines that I do enjoy. This wine, to my recollection of when I tried it at home was thick, murky and hot- it was far too much oaked to pair with the steak we were enjoying, and while in the review I admit that the wine had commendable jammy flavors (reason why I placed it in the 70s, not 60s), the heat was just too much. Aerating it out over the next day didn’t do much. While I do not have your professional credentials to judge a wine, CellarTracker I do think was intended for those of us who may not be professionals. For me, it’s really hard to grasp how a wine of this nature will evolve in a good way, based on what I prefer. I personally feel that the wines simply aren’t great- which I can see where my opinion affects/ed quite some people.

    The way I take your review, is that you seem to imply by mentioning “… who’s really in the wrong here just don’t rate it man….” that maybe I shouldn’t have bothered rating the wine. I rate most of the wines I buy/taste for my own recollection down the road if need be, and if I visit the winery again, to know what I have liked or not liked based on my tasting notes. Furthermore, you also add “ Happy to see a lot of sense in the comments.” which I take as you implying by default that mine does not in fact make sense; Yet in the first sentence of your comment you state “ Looked at your profile you clearly have your own rating system & your consistent…” which quite oppositely implies that my reviews/ratings do make sense- even to you.

    If one isn’t allowed to post a negative rating of a wine they truly disliked, to what extreme will it continue/end? As the saying goes: live and let live. I’m sure there are wines that you do not like at all, and maybe you don’t rate wines you dislike. I do. And if you are not content with my review or previous comment, you were more than welcome to address it without *personally* going after my own tasting abilities/deductions. There are nicer ways to communicate which I do in good faith attempt to do. But yours was a little in a bad taste. Criticize or commend the wine, not the posters ability to judge it.

  • WyattTheSomm commented:

    1/4/22, 10:36 PM - Hello, I think I was admittedly upset at your rating system and could of approached the situation better to explain my reasoning because unfortunately it was abtuse and Misunderstood. So I do apologize for being so brusque.

    The main thing I drew issue with was never your ability to taste its disheartening to hear that’s what you thought because you have a right to your opinion and I respect that you didn’t enjoy the wine truly. I specifically only have an issue with your rating system which simply put makes the wines look worse than they really are (to you it makes sense and I understand it) but it throws off the average rating if only 5 people review just so you have a catalog of what is great average and bad to you.

    I’m not saying your rating system is wrong it does make sense in your profile (I acknowledge that) and you are consistent with rating, however I don’t agree with your concept of where a bad/average/great wine falls in your rating systems Numbers# and that’s why your post has made many question it I believe. 74pts to 90% of people is really low… (which is what I meant by that comment) to you it’s average (I understand) but to us that’s a terrible wine rating and unfortunately tanks the average score, which I don’t think is fair to the wine or the other people looking to possibly buy this vintage.

    I also mention the Opus rating due to you not rating specifically on the fact that it needs time and many have said this wine needs time. Most nice wines calm down the acids, oak, and alcohol with time (in general) so it seems you know that’s why we age… it takes Time for things to integrate so if the alcohol was that out of balance and the oak one could assume maybe time would help and just hold off on a rating due to this. I see you drink nice wines and seem educated to me drinking wine is more than a test / paper with a accolade on it.

    I didn’t need to say what I did at the end it was rude which is why I apologized that’s not what this community is here for your right… but your review sounded deeply disappointed and thought maybe you were treated badly and in fairness I would of perceived a wine as worse if I had a bad experience as well. Almost seemed like you hated the wine. Truly didn’t have to do with your ability to taste.

    Absolutely fine you disliked the wine I just don’t think you should of rated it that low or at all due to your rating system not being well calibrated for what most people perceive for these reasons.

    Hopefully this clears up my thoughts keep doing as you choose but this is how I think most are perceiving your score. I don’t rate many wines super low and if something isnt right or in a dumb phase I just wait and write my score in the Review but that’s on my main Account.

  • Smooth Jazz commented:

    5/31/22, 5:34 PM - Personally, I think that “alcoholic heat” is a flaw - wine is meant to be savored with and without food and isn’t meant to be liquor

    Further, overly jammy wines in my opinion generally lack subtlety and finesse and I get why someone might not like that

    The whole benefit of cellartracker is that their are millions of people with different palates rating wines - and as long as they have an explanation of why they rated what they did (as the original review here clearly did), I find the reviews helpful irrespective whether of I agree with them

    I do not like many of the wines RP likes, yet I find his reviews to be remarkably consistent and helpful as I try to get some sense of what the wine may be like

    Calling out this review as “too harsh” because one doesn’t agree with it makes one seem desperate to try and get everyone to validate the expensive choice one made

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