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Force Majeure Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 2018

ID No: 448176
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 99 Points
Vintage:2018
Bottle Size:750 ml
Product Description

Force Majeure Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. 

The estate Cabernet Sauvignon is grown primarily along the southwest ridge of the vineyard. The vines produce small berries with bountiful flavor, concentration and intensity, but also a good degree of finesse, excellent structure and layers of complexity that will continue to develop during extended bottle aging for those who want to cellar and age their wines. The wine is powerful, elegant, full-bodied.

Bottled unfined and unfiltered.100% free run
Pumpovers and punch-downs, up to 45 day macerations
Native yeast, 5 day cold soaks
22 months in 75% new French oak barrels
Fermented in concrete and stainless closed top tanks.


Review:

"One of the wines of the vintage. Comprised of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, with small parts Merlot and Petit Verdot, this saw 80% new French oak prior to bottling. The nose is downright intoxicating with crème de cassis, anise, blueberry compote and sandalwood tones that all meld in the glass. The palate is rich and seductive, with not only beautiful concentration but a seamless texture and downright brilliant length. Rich crème de violette, sagebrush, blackberry cordial and mocha flavours provide plenty of exotic appeal."

- Decanter (April 2021), 99 pts


Winery: Force Majeure

Force Majeure is an ultra-premium winery located in the Walla Walla Valley, specializing in estate-grown, single-vineyard Bordeaux and Rhône-inspired wines. Our wines are meticulously crafted by former Bryant Family Vineyard Winemaker, Todd Alexander. From its inception, Force Majeure has been defined by unwavering commitment to outstanding viticulture and exemplary winemaking. Our original estate vineyard is located in the famous Red Mountain AVA and we have added two new vineyard sites over the past couple of years in the Walla Walla Valley. Our estate vineyards are painstakingly farmed by a stellar team.

“Force Majeure” describes the relentless, powerful elements of Nature that form the terroir of our vineyard. It also identifies the “unstoppable force” initiated when the highest level of viticulture is combined with the highest level of winemaking talent.

Our wines are produced in small quantities and are available via mailing list, as well as through a few select retailers and finer restaurants. We invite you to add your name to our mailing list to receive upcoming wine allocation offers. Wines are typically released two to three times per year.

Vineyards:

“Force Majeure has already established itself in the top tier of Washington wineries.” – Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator


RED MOUNTAIN AVA

Drawing inspiration from the great vineyards of Bordeaux, the Northern and Southern Rhône valleys, as well as parts of Spain, and with a desire to challenge existing viticultural practices in Washington state, we embarked on an ambitious plan to pioneer the very first vineyard on the steep, rocky upper slopes of Red Mountain, from where we knew we could create wines that were profound and powerful yet balanced and finessed, distinct and world-class. Most importantly, we knew the site would be unique and singular.

The effort to develop our Red Mountain estate site involved the careful matching of varietal and clonal selections, trellising and irrigation to the eight distinct soil types in our vineyard that were formed by the ancient Missoula floods, winds and volcanic activity. The outcome is a vineyard articulated into many small “micro-blocks,” maximizing the potential of this unique and dynamic site. This steep vineyard ranges in elevation from 960 to 1,230 feet and is, of course, completely farmed by hand. The rocky upper-slope with shallow soil is well suited to the cultivation of varietals such as Syrah and Grenache, while the lower blocks of the vineyard are comprised of deep, well-drained Warden soils, where varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc excel.

The overall exposure of the site is west/southwest, and the Syrah planted on the hill is tightly spaced to provide some shade on the fruit. The soils have a volcanic foundation, being composed of fractured basalt, concreted ash and wind-blown loess with a high calcium carbonate content and granite erratics from the Missoula floods. The site was purchased in 2004 and development began in 2006.

ROCKS DISTRICT OF MILTON-FREEWATER AVA

We have recently acquired a small vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley, one-hour drive from Red Mountain. The property is partially within the boundaries of the The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater AVA, on the Oregon side of the border, and is located adjacent to the site of our new winery. The portion of the vineyard outside The Rocks District is within the borders of the Walla Walla Valley AVA. The Rocks District is an alluvial fan, and the cobbles that define the area are a result of deposits left by the Walla Walla River. This vineyard was planted between 1992 and 1994, and has a diverse soil profile that sets it apart from other vineyards in the area, and certainly from our Red Mountain site. The amount of soil covering the cobble stones is highest at the north end of the property and most shallow at the southern end. This gives us a lot of diversity within a small area, and the grapes will have different characteristics depending on the soil composition where they are grown. This vineyard is in an area proven to have very distinct terroir, and we know we can push the site further by bringing it under our care and attention.

THE NORTH FORK OF THE WALLA WALLA RIVER

Over the past couple of years, we have been in search of additional land to develop vineyards that differ from our Red Mountain estate, yet are capable of matching or exceeding the quality we achieve from that site. This search resulted in the acquisition of The Rocks District site mentioned previously, as well as the discovery of a new and exiting region about 15 minutes away from there.

As you move east from The Rocks District and our new winery, in about 15 minutes drive the topography changes dramatically – from flat lands with cobblestone soils to deep canyons with tall, steep hills as you approach the Blue Mountains that line the eastern ridge of the Walla Walla Valley. The area is wild and untamed, with only a couple of small vineyards located nearby. This area does not yet have a name, but the locals refer to it the as “The North Fork” because the North Fork of the Walla Walla River runs along the bottom of the canyon.

We have recently acquired a large piece of land in this area. It is a spectacularly beautiful site, and its elevation rises to almost 2100 feet. As it is so close to the Blue Mountains, it receives significantly more rainfall than many other parts of the Walla Walla Valley and Red Mountain. The high temperatures in the summer are more moderate, and the cold temperatures in the winter are less extreme than on the valley floor. The growing season at this site will be longer than either site in The Rocks District or Red Mountain.

This is a huge and exciting step into new and mostly unexplored territory, but promises to feed our passion for hillside sites and the wines made from them. We believe this site is capable of nurturing some of the best wine grapes, not just in the Pacific Northwest, but in North America. The combination of climatic characteristics, exposure and aspects as well as soil composition should make this land one of the most exciting new viticultural areas in the United States. In the future, this region is sure to be a new, single AVA. The size of that future AVA may be as small as 500 acres.


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The unique topography and geological variants in these vineyards provide us with a versatility that allows us to cultivate a variety of compelling fruit characterized by stunning intensity, depth, concentration and complex flavors. The sites are all distinct and singular – yet taken together, they provide a fascinating exposition of the terroir in this region of the world.


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The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Galitzine Vineyard Clone 8 is entirely composed of clone 8 selection from this site on Red Mountain. It’s quite simply one of the finest wines that I have tasted this year. On the nose, it takes on beautiful red florals, dark currants, huckleberry cordial and Turkish coffee with shades of creosote and sandalwood. The palate is opulent, polished and beautifully textured, delivering seamless length and amazing persistence. Cassis, espresso bean, sagebrush and Black Forest cake flavors all come together wonderfully on the palate. Glorious now, this has another 20 years ahead of it.

-Vinous 99 Points





 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 99
Torbreck Runrig Shiraz - Viognier 2018

Torbreck Runrig Shiraz - Viognier is made from 98% Shiraz, 2% Viognier.

RunRig often draws comparison with the beautifully fragrant and tautly structured wines from the steep slopes of the Northern Rhône Valley’s Appellation of Côte Rôtie. Shiraz from old dry grown Barossa vineyards is blended with Viognier, complementing the strengths and complexities of these individual parcels of fruit, whilst giving the resulting wine a further dimension.

The Highland clans used a ‘RunRig’ system to distribute land amongst their clansmen in a series of widely dispersed holdings. The emphasis was not on any one farm but rather the communal element of the whole. Shiraz from old dry grown vineyards is blended with Viognier, complementing the strengths and complexities of these individual parcels of fruit, whilst giving the resulting wine a further dimension.

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TASTING Complex and lifted aromatics of dense black fruits such as blackberries, satsuma plum and black cherry complimented with dark chocolate, cacao been and liquorice. The opulent mouthfeel, liveliness, and vibrancy is a real standout on a plush and velvety textured palate structure. The complex layers and fruit characters continue to evolve in the glass with firm but drying tannins seamlessly balanced with long acid and statuesque posture and length..


Torbreck's 2018 RunRig needs a bit of air right now, as the nose and palate truly open up and expand after a while in the glass. Unlike some vintages, it's rather tight and cedary upon first pour, then relaxes to reveal hints of stone fruit, blueberries, cherries, pastry crust and baking spices. In the mouth, it's full-bodied and concentrated, richly textured and marked by ripe tannins, which leave behind a velvety, mouth-coating finish tinged with licorice and dark berries. While approachable now—and even damn enjoyable—it deserves another several years in the cellar. Drink the 2018 Descendant while waiting.

-Wine Advocate 99 Points

In the 27 years since its founding in 1994, Torbreck has become one of the icons of Australian wine, championing the old-vine treasures of the Barossa. This year's releases include stunning versions of the winery's top cuvées: The Laird, Les Amis and RunRig. All three rate 97 points or better, with the 2018 RunRig being this taster's personal favorite for its superb balance. Not far behind is the 2018 Descendant, which sells for a fraction of the price and is more approachable as well. That's the one that shrewd wine drinkers will seek out. Fortunately for those of us with skinnier wallets, even Torbreck's other bottlings are excellent, with special mention going to the 2018 Hillside Vineyard Grenache, from vines planted in 1949, and the 2018 The Gask, from Eden Valley vines planted in 1960. Even the entry-level Woodcutter's line is solid, with the 2020 Rosé, 2020 Semillon and 2019 Shiraz all scoring 88-90 points. In short, for consumers seeking bold, flavorful wines that reflect their origins, Torbreck is among Australia's top producers

-   Wine Advocate Joe Czerwinski

 Wine Advocate: 99
Grand Veneur Chateauneuf Du Pape Vieilles Vignes Rouge 2019

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Matured in concrete vats (40%) and oak casks (60%)

It boasts an inky/purple color in addition to a gorgeous perfume of crushed rocks, jammy black fruits, charcoal and graphite. Blackberry aroma with an air of dates pressed in alongside – this is sweet-noted. It is easy to appreciate, a sleek and stylish start. The palate holds excellent fruit that runs well and has kick. Its tannins move round freely and a minted finale comes forward. Its dark fruit is tasty, darkens on the finish, where tar and char from its oak enter. It is all very much together, a bundle of harmony, and will gain local attributes as it ages.

An outstanding Chateauneuf du Pape which display the best of its terroir.
The vines are 50 to 100+ year old. They are planted on red clay soils covered with pebble stones.
Harvest is destemmed and crushed. Fermentation temperature is controlled at 30°C. Vatting period of 18 to 20 days. Matured in concrete vats (40%) and oak casks (60%).

The vines are 50 to 100+ year old. They are planted on red clay soils covered with pebble stones.

Harvest is destemmed and crushed. Fermentation temperature is controlled at 30°C. Vatting period of 18 to 20 days. Matured in concrete vats (40%) and oak casks (60%).

The vineyards are located in the north of Châteauneuf du Pape. GRAND VENEUR «Vieilles Vignes» cuvee is produced from the older vines. Thanks to time and an organic growing, roots go very deep in the soil. Yields are naturally low and grapes highly concentrated.

Winemaking and aging

Pair with venisson, duck, braised lamb or strong cheese.

Review:

"The 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Vieilles Vignes is based on 45% each of Grenache and Mourvèdre, with the balance Syrah, all destemmed and raised in 55% new French oak. Gorgeous cassis, violet, graphite, fruitcake, and peppery herbs define this brilliant effort, and it's full-bodied, with a pure, seamless texture, wonderful tannins, and one heck of a great finish. This magical 2019 is going to benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age (it's brilliant even today) yet keep for 20 years or more. Châteauneuf du Pape lovers need to have this in their cellar!"

- Jeb Dunnuck (November 2021),99 pts



 99 Points
Booker Fracture Paso Robles Syrah 2018

Booker Fracture is made from 100 percent Syrah.

Often described as a Booker flagship, Fracture is one of the world’s great Syrahs. Only the softest Syrah in barrel makes the cut for this dense and powerful wine. The namesake pays homage to the calcareous soil in our vineyard, the limestone causes it to ‘fracture’. Deep and mysterious at first sight, the 2018 vintage is rich and velvety on your palate. There is an interesting balance of earth and fruit, with traces of sweet beets, dark plums and chocolate. Though this silky wine will pair with anything, our thoughts are going to salty popcorn by the fire or Dutch Gouda cheese with some black truffle mustard. 




Review:

The inky colored 2018 Fracture is another wine that’s going to push at the upper limits of the grading scale. Awesome crème de cassis, charred meats, graphite, plenty of minerality, and subtle oak nuances all flow to a powerful, full-bodied, beautifully balanced Syrah. Similar in style to the 2017 with its powerful yet elegant vibe as well as good acidity, it’s a magical Paso Robles Syrah in the making.

- Jeb Dunnuck 98-100

 100 Points
Anakota Wines Helena Dakota Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Anakota Wines Helena Dakota Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.

Helena Dakota is defined by its power, structure and sophistication. It is an intricate Cabernet Sauvignon that reflects both the terroir of the site and the influence of the surrounding Knights Valley AVA. It possesses layers of plums, anise, cassis, leather, bay leaf and cedar. Galvanized by a streak of minerals and bold tannins. Helena Dakota is a solidly-built wine that stands the test of time. 

HELENA DAKOTA VINEYARD

This sloping, 12-acre vineyard runs southwest to northeast at roughly 750 feet above sea level. It features soft, reddish brown, gravelly, silt loam soils speckled with rocks. Prevailing westerly winds blow over a large pond and continue uphill parallel to the rows of vines. These cooling breezes slow the ripening process creating wines that are both powerful and balanced with red fruit flavors, notable minerality and graceful tannins. Pierre says the Cabernet from Helena Dakota remind him of Pauillac or Saint-Estèphe.

Fragrant, opulent, and complex, bursting with fresh blueberry and black currant, Crème de Violette, and subtle fresh bay leaf aromatics. The palate is luxurious and rich, perfectly balancing this wine’s firm structure.


Review:

Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Dakota Vineyard was aged for 12 months in 100% new French oak. Deep garnet-purple in color, it has a profound yet slightly broody nose to begin, slowly unfurling to reveal wonderfully fragrant notes of wild blueberries, black cherries, dark chocolate and warm cassis, followed by nuances of garrigue, violets, tar and licorice plus a touch of wet stones. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has gorgeous velvety tannins and finely knit freshness supporting generous black and blue fruits, finishing very long and achingly fragrant. Wow. 1,000 cases were made.

-Wine Advocate 99 Points


 Wine Advocate: 99
Force Majeure Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

The estate Cabernet Sauvignon is grown primarily along the southwest ridge of the vineyard. The vines produce small berries with bountiful flavor, concentration and intensity, but also a good degree of finesse, excellent structure and layers of complexity that will continue to develop during extended bottle aging for those who want to cellar and age their wines. The wine is powerful, elegant, full-bodied.

Bottled unfined and unfiltered.100% free run
Pumpovers and punch-downs, up to 45 day macerations
Native yeast, 5 day cold soaks
22 months in 75% new French oak barrels
Fermented in concrete and stainless closed top tanks.

Review:


"The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain Estate is another powerful wine from this team. Opulent notes of blackcurrants, graphite, chocolate, crushed rocks, wild herbs, and espresso all give way to a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon that has loads of fruit, a superstar of a mid-palate, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It’s another 2017 that’s going to benefit from at least 2-4 years of bottle age and have 20 years or more of longevity."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 95+ pts

 95 Points
Try these Similar In Stock Wines
Force Majeure Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla 2018

Force Majeure Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Previously known as Grand Reve, Force Majeure has skyrocketed to the top of the pyramid in Washington State, in no small part due to their talented winemaker, Todd Alexander, who moved from Bryant Family in Napa to Washington State to focus on this estate. While the focus is on their Red Mountain Vineyard, they make a bevy of world-class wines from throughout the Columbia Valley. Anyone doubting the quality coming from Washington State these days owes it to themselves to try these wines.


Review:

Lots of blue fruits, cassis, violets, lead pencil, and tobacco notes emerge from the glass of the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley Estate, a magical, incredible Cabernet Sauvignon from the Rocks region of Walla Walla, as well as a perfect wine. It's deep purple/ruby-colored, full-bodied, deep, and opulent on the palate, with terrific elegance as well as a rich, complex earthiness that develops with time in the glass. However, it's not a classic Rocks wine, and the exotic funkiness is largely concealed behind classic Cabernet typicity. It reminds me of the 2009 Château Haut-Bailly with its rare mix of richness and power, and while it was brought up in almost all new French oak, you wouldn't know it by tasting it. Everything is perfectly balanced, it has silky tannins, a great mid-palate, and one heck of an impressive finish. It's a candidate for the wine of the vintage and should be snatched up by readers. Don't miss it.

-Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points




 100 Points
Force Majeure Epinette 2017

Force Majeure Epinette  is made from 46% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot.

Epinette is Force Majeure's Right-bank Bordeaux-inspired blend, and was named after an avenue in Libourne (France) that leads to Pomerol and Saint-Émilion, the home of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Epinette is also the name of a musical instrument akin to a piano, as well as a word for pine tree, which is a fitting nod to their home in Washington state.


The wine itself is a blend of primarily Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with smaller amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, proportions of which change depending on the vintage. The Merlot and Cabernet Franc are grown in lower areas of the vineyard with deep, well-drained soils, much less rocky than the soils of our Rhone varietals.


Review:


"The 2018 Epinette is the Merlot-dominated release from this team, and it's 79% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot, all from the estate vineyard on Red Mountain. Lots of smoky black cherry and darker currant fruits as well as notes of chocolate, graphite, lead pencil, and chalky minerality emerge from the glass, and this full-bodied beauty is beautifully textured, with a stacked mid-palate, velvety tannins, and a blockbuster finish. It's up with the finest Merlots in the New World and will drink brilliantly for at least a decade, if not longer."

- Jeb Dunnuck (May 2021), 97 pts

 97 Points
Force Majeure Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

The estate Cabernet Sauvignon is grown primarily along the southwest ridge of the vineyard. The vines produce small berries with bountiful flavor, concentration and intensity, but also a good degree of finesse, excellent structure and layers of complexity that will continue to develop during extended bottle aging for those who want to cellar and age their wines. The wine is powerful, elegant, full-bodied.

Bottled unfined and unfiltered.100% free run
Pumpovers and punch-downs, up to 45 day macerations
Native yeast, 5 day cold soaks
22 months in 75% new French oak barrels
Fermented in concrete and stainless closed top tanks.

Review:


"The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain Estate is another powerful wine from this team. Opulent notes of blackcurrants, graphite, chocolate, crushed rocks, wild herbs, and espresso all give way to a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon that has loads of fruit, a superstar of a mid-palate, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It’s another 2017 that’s going to benefit from at least 2-4 years of bottle age and have 20 years or more of longevity."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 95+ pts

 95 Points
Force Majeure Epinette 2016

Force Majeure Epinette  is made from 46% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot.

Epinette is Force Majeure's Right-bank Bordeaux-inspired blend, and was named after an avenue in Libourne (France) that leads to Pomerol and Saint-Émilion, the home of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Epinette is also the name of a musical instrument akin to a piano, as well as a word for pine tree, which is a fitting nod to their home in Washington state.


The wine itself is a blend of primarily Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with smaller amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, proportions of which change depending on the vintage. The Merlot and Cabernet Franc are grown in lower areas of the vineyard with deep, well-drained soils, much less rocky than the soils of our Rhone varietals.


Review:

"I loved the 2016 Epinette from barrel, and it certainly doesn't disappoint from bottle. Sporting a deep purple color as well as a huge bouquet of blackcurrants, black cherries, smoked earth, chocolate, and cedary spice, this flamboyant, powerful beauty hits the palate with loads of fruit, has sweet tannins, no hard edges, building tannins, and a huge finish. It's one seriously pleasure-bent effort that has another 10-15 years of prime drinking." - Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 96+ pts

 96 Points
Force Majeure Parvata 2017

Force Majeure Parvata is made from 69% Mourvedre, 21% Syrah, 10% Grenache (2016) / 43% Mourvedre, 25% Grenache, 23% Syrah, 4% Cinsault, 5% Counoise

Parvata means “mountain” in sanskrit, and is the name for this southern Rhône-inspired blend, grown mostly in the sandy, loamy soils of the lower section of the Red Mountain vineyard, which bring to the wine a good degree of finesse and high-toned aromatic notes, white pepper, dried herbs and grapefruit peel.

Review:


"Based on 57% Mourvèdre, 25% Syrah, and the rest Grenache, the 2018 Parvata has a wonderfully earthy, complex, classic Mourvèdre nose of ripe red and blue fruits, gamey meat, cracked pepper, violets, and tree bark. This carries to a plush, up-front, incredibly sexy 2018 with notable purity, full-bodied richness, integrated tannins, and a great, great finish. It's slightly more up-front and supple than I expected from barrel, but this incredible wine just begs to be drunk. Nevertheless, I still think a year of bottle age is warranted and it should drink well for 10-15."
- Jeb Dunnuck (May 2021), 96 pts

 96 Points
Passing Time Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 2018

Passing Time Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc.

Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon reflects the essence of this famous appellation. It is broad-shouldered and deeply fruited, with classic Red Mountain structure promising a long life in the cellar.

Red Mountain Cabernet is renowned for its firm structure, ageability, and distinctive fruit profile. The 2018 Red Mountain Cabernet accentuates this character using older vines from two iconic vineyards, dating 25-35 years old. The result is a wine of profound depth and complexity featuring dark cherry and currant fruit, as well as crushed herbs and a hint of minerality. Red Mountain wines are known for their ability to cellar for years, and the 2018 vintage should ensure that this wine will be enjoyable for decades to come.

Review:

If the Horse Heaven Hills releases is Graves-like, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain is the Pauillac in the lineup and has a more concentrated, austere style that needs lots of air to show at its best. Gorgeous cassis and black raspberry fruits as well as notes of graphite and lead pencil along with a terrific sense of chalky minerality give way to a full-bodied, powerful yet still elegant Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. Delivering building tannins and good acidity, it will need 7-8 years of bottle age to hit maturity and should see its 30th birthday in fine form. This wine is 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot, brought up in 75% new French oak, and the vineyard sources are Klipsun and Red Mountain Vineyard.

-Jeb Dunnuck 97+ Points

 97 Points
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