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Force Majeure Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

ID No: 446718
Our Price: $165.00 $149.00
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 99 Points
Vintage:2016
Bottle Size:750 ml
Product Description

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 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain Estate is a thrilling effort from winemaker Todd Alexander that rates with some of the most monumental wines to come out of Washington State. Based on 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from their estate vineyard on Red Mountain, brought up in mostly new barrels, it reveals a saturated purple color that's followed by a rich, primordial bouquet of crème de cassis, espresso roast, crushed rock, and graphite. It needs considerable air to start to show its potential yet is a full-bodied, powerful wine that has subtle oak, plenty of sweet tannins, and a huge, layered finish that won't quit. It's the tannin management that's truly spectacular. This brilliant wine needs to be forgotten for 4-5 years and will keep for 2-3 decades."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 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.


_________________________________


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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Dominus Napa Valley Red Blend 2017

Dominus Napa Valley Red Blend  is made from 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot.

The historic Napanook Vineyard, a 124-acre site west of Yountville, was planted in 1838. This vineyard was the source of fruit for some of the finest Napa Valley wines. Estate-bottled in the spirit of the Bordeaux châteaux, Dominus Estate is dry-farmed to allow natural stress and good concentration of fruit. Grape clusters are crop-thinned to allow sun and air to pass in between, helping to achieve full maturation and soften the tannins. Only 20% to 40% new French oak barrels are used in order to limit the extraction of oak notes. To express the unique terroir, the classic Bordeaux grape varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are planted with different root stocks best suited for the varying soil composition of gravel, heavy clay and loam.


Reviews:

The 2017 Dominus is one of the truly epic, grand wines of the vintage. Rich, dense and explosive, with tremendous concentration and sheer power, the 2017 Dominus captures all the personality of this site along with the natural opulence of the year. Inky dark fruit, lavender, menthol, licorice, plum, gravel and a host of dark spice notes infuse the 2017 with seemingly endless layers of nuance. Over the last two years I have tasted several hundred Napa Valley Cabernets, both from barrel and bottle. There is no question that Dominus belongs among the elite in 2017; it is simply a breathtaking wine. Certainly readers looking for a Napa Valley Cabernet to cellar should put Dominus at the top of their lists. -Vinous 98 Points

The grand vin is the 2017 Dominus, which is based on 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, harvested between September 21 and October 3, and aged in 40% new French oak. Chateau Lafite-like notes of blackcurrants, lead pencil shavings, cedary tobacco, and gravelly earth all emerge from the glass, and it's full-bodied, has a terrific sense of elegance, lots of tannins, and a great finish. This tight, powerful, concentrated Dominus will benefit from 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for 25 years or more. 2017 doesn't get much better. -Robert Parker 97 Points

There was about 50% of a normal crop this year for the 2017 Dominus, due to strict selection. Grapes were harvested from September 21 to October 3 and the wine was bottled in June 2019. This year the blend is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, aged in 40% new French oak barrels. Very deep purple-black in color, it sashays nonchalantly out of the glass with graceful notions of potpourri, forest floor, crushed rocks, Ceylon tea and licorice with a core of black currant cordial, chocolate-covered cherries, mulberries and preserved plums plus a waft of garrigue. Full-bodied, the palate has a beautifully impactful, wonderfully quiet intensity of black and blue fruits with loads of floral and spicy sparks, framed by firm yet plush tannins, finishing with long-lasting earthy notes. -Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 98 Wine Advocate: 97 97 Points
Kinsella Estates Heirloom Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Kinsella Estates Heirloom Cabernet Sauvignon  is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

20 months in French Oak (75% New)

Organic made.

Intense was the first word that came to mind. Purely focused tannin weaves its way through the core of this wine. Has a savory characteristic that we have found in past vintages (2014 to be specific) with a slight licorice note on the exceptionally long finish. While this vineyard has been described as “feminine” in the past, that is certainly not the case for this bigger, bolder vintage!

Any vegetable or meat in the grill. Delicious with Chocolate as well.


Harris Estate Caseys Lakeview Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

The Cabernet Sauvignon Casey’s Lakeview is similarly inky bluish/purple to the rim. Tasting like blood, this wine is dense and rich with lots of chocolate, espresso, earth and spice. It is deep, full-bodied, and again, a masculine style of wine that needs at least 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for 25 or more years.

Lakeview Vineyard is the winery’s mid-block vineyard planted to a combination of clone 6 & 337 Cabernet Sauvignon on 101-14 rootstock. Excellent drainage from the rocky and chalky soils plus plenty of sunlight throughout the day produces wines of bold character with mouth filling flavors.

Organic farming methods are used to produce this Cabernet Sauvignon Casey's Lakeview vineyard. Vines are 17 years old. Ageing in French oak barrels (85% new) for 20 months, then 12 months in bottle prior to release. Non-filtered.

 


Review:

"The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Casey’s Lakeview is similarly inky bluish/purple to the rim. Tasting like blood, this wine is dense and rich with lots of chocolate, espresso, earth and spice. It is deep, full-bodied, and again, a masculine style of wine that needs at least 4-5 years of cellaring and should keep for 25 or more years."
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #222, December 2015), 95 pts

"Darker tonalities of fruit along with distinctly savory undertones are two of the signatures in the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Casey's Lakeview Vineyard. Rich, ample and powerful, the Casey's Lakeview offers notable richness to fill out its broad-shouldered frame. Hints of lavender and mint add nuance in a virile Cabernet Sauvignon that needs at least a few years to fully come together. - Antonio Galloni" 

- Vinous (October 2015), 94 pts

 

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 94 Wine Advocate: 95
The Grade Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Winfield Vineyard 2016

The Grade Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Winfield Vineyard is made from Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

“2016 produced wines that are very giving, round, coating and streamlined. Year after this year, this bottling aims to highlight the best attributes of the Winfield Vineyard, and also creates a wine that possesses qualities that allow it to age well in the cellar and evolve over many years.

“This wine expresses a focused balancing act of dark, rich black fruit, and a fine tannin structure, illuminated through the core with a laser-like acidity. The wine displays a deep purple-red hue with a cranberry halo. Aromas of cassis, cinnamon, citrus oil, roasted meat, and lilac swell from the glass.

“The palate is marked by a wave of jet-black brambly fruit up front, followed by an exotic spice mid-palate and a long, complex finish that lasts and lasts expressing notes of flowering jasmine, and oolong tea. The silky tannins hold everything together and will certainly allow this wine to evolve in the cellar for at least 7-10 years.”  - Thomas River Brown

Review:

Coming from the Winfield Vineyard in Calistoga, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is another brilliant wine from the hands of winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown. This deep purple-colored effort boasts tons of blueberry and jammy blackberry fruits as well a medium to full-bodied, concentrated, yet elegant style on the palate. It has the purity of fruit that’s the hallmark of the vintage, ripe, sweet tannins, and no hard edges, and is already hard to resist.

-Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points



 94 Points
Clos Solene Harmonie 2017

Clos Solene Harmonie is made from Paso Robles 67% Grenache, 18% Mourvèdre and 15% Syrah

Composed of 5 of the best vineyards on the west side of Paso Robles with mainly limestone and shale terroirs, brought elegance and  pureness to this vintage.  Aged for 16 months in larger used barrels, it delivers, on the nose, an incredible bouquet, and on the palate, notes of strawberries followed by some silkiness texture with delicate tannins and a great acidity. 

Aged 16 months in mostly used puncheons 400-liter barrels (15% new)

Pairs with roasted pork. Eggplant parmesan, filet mignon

Review:

"The 2017 Harmonie (67% Grenache, 18% Mourvèdre, and 15% Syrah) is beautiful and certainly makes the most of the vintage. Black cherries, red currants, cedary spice, dried herbs, and floral notes all flow to a medium to full-bodied blend that has flawless balance, ultra-fine tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish. It can be drunk today or cellared for over a decade."

- Jeb DUNNUCK (October 31st 2019), 97 pts


 97 Points
Roland Champion Champagne Brut Rose Grand Cru NV

Roland Champion Champagne Brut Rose Grand Cru NV is the blend of 20% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Meunier, 40% Pinot Noir. 

Small red fruits (strawberry, raspberry, cherry), characteristic of Pinot Noir with some brioche, toasted aromas coming from the Pinot Meunier. Clear and vinous. Development of red fruit aromas (blackcurrant) on a spice backdrop (cinnamon) and a nice fresh cut apple, grapefruit flavor. A fresh, lively and delicate flavor. Ideal balance between Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir.
 
dosage : 8 grams per liter
ageing : 3.5 years on laths
Even if it doesn't say on the label, 100% of the production is RD (Recently Disgorged)
Total Production for this Cuvée : between 150 cases and 330 cases (9 liter equivalent) per year


"A delicate, subtle Champagne, delivering aromatic notes of mulling spices and yeast that accent the flavors of kirsch, bread dough, candied lemon zest and rose petal. This is finely tuned, with lively acidity and a minerally finish. 330 cases made. –AN"
- Wine Spectator , 91 pts

"Bright orange. Aromas of blood orange, dried rose, allspice and minerals, with a subtle note of anise. Juicy and precise, with very good depth to its spicy red berry and citrus pith flavors. Finishes smooth and long, with excellent clarity and lingering spiciness."
- Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar , 91 pts


"Champion is a small grower in Chouilly, in the Cotes des Blancs, an area known for fantastic chardonnay. This rosé — of which he makes only about 330 cases — includes 10 percent red wines (pinot noir, pinot meunier) to give it a pale, salmonlike color and a beguiling palate of cranberries, strawberries and currants. Wow. And yum."
-  Washington Post, ***


"Eye of the partridge color. With a bouquet that evokes leesy hints of red cherry and berry with a touch of stone fruit, this is a finely sculpted wine, beautifully balanced with rich flavors of cherry, shortbread,and a hint of honeyed apricot. A rosé Champagne that’s complex and dry with good palate depth and length. A blend of 20% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, and 40% Pinot Meunier; 7-85% of the juice is red wine (Pinot Noir) from 2013 vintage of Coteaux Champenois Rouge from the village of Verneuil. 3+ years on the lees."

- I-WineReview (Champagne: Diversity and Change, January 2020), 92 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91 Wine Spectator: 91 International Wine Review: 92
Try these Similar In Stock Wines
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:


"Opens with a burst of rich black raspberry and smoky pepper flavors, building tension and structure toward muscular, mineral-tinged tannins. Best from 2022 through 2030. —Tim FISH"   - Wine Spectator's Insider (June 10th 2020), 93 pts


 Wine Spectator: 93
Force Majeure Estate Syrah 2018

Force Majeure estate Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah.

The Force Majeure estate Syrah is cultivated in a combination of the 8 soil types that exist in the vineyard, with most of it being planted in very steep, very rocky locations, but some also planted in deeper, loamier soils.

The estate Syrah typically exhibits a broad spectrum of black, blue and red fruits, dried herbs and jasmine, fennel, smoked meats and crushed rock along with very fine tannins, great length, balance and complexity.

AppellationRed Mountain Varietal(s) 100% Syrah

Soil type Very steep, rocky locations, but some also planted in deeper, loamier soils

Vinification 22% whole cluster, remainder destemmed. Fermented in concrete, open top and closed top stainless. ~25% new French oak for 18 months, mostly larger format (300L to 500L) Native yeast, cold soak up front Macerations up to 30 days; pumpovers and punch-downs 100% free run. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Production 500 (9-liter cases)

Review:

The 2018 Syrah Estate includes a splash of Viognier and was fermented with 15% stems and brought up in a mix of new and used barrels. A huge nose of blueberries, black raspberries, spring flowers, smoked game, and ground pepper notes give way to a full-bodied, multi-dimensional, gorgeous barrel sample that has no hard edges, incredible balance, and a finish that won’t quit. While the Viognier gives some cushion to the classic Red Mountain structure of this wine, it’s still going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age. My money is on this being one of the top wines of the vintage.

-Jeb Dunnuck 97-100 Points


 100 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 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:

"Billed as the estate’s Right Bank blend, the 2017 Epinette is all estate and 53% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot. It’s a rich, powerful, Château Pavie-like wine that has classic Red Mountain minerality as well as notes of blackcurrants, chocolate, violets, sagebrush, and white truffles. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and beautifully concentrated, with building tannins, it’s going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and keep for 10-15 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 95+ pts

 95 Points
Force Majeure Parvata 2016

Force Majeure Parvata is made from 69% Mourvedre, 21% Syrah, 10% Grenache. 

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:

"There are only 325 cases of the 2016 Parvata, a blend of 69% Mourvèdre, 21% Syrah, and 10% Grenache brought up in 30% new, mostly larger barrels. Deep ruby-colored, with a beautiful bouquet of black raspberries, white pepper, spiced meats, and graphite, this hits the palate with full-bodied richness, ripe tannins, and beautiful length."
- 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:


"Bright ruby-red. Lovely verve to the aromas of blackberry, blueberry, licorice and sexy oak. Densely packed and fresh, with its flavors of crushed blackberry, bitter chocolate, licorice and exotic Asian spices showing much more grip than the 2015 bottling. Still a bit youthfully rigid today and in need of a year or two of patience. My second bottle showed similar aromas and flavors but was richer, broader and more pliant, finishing with ripe, fine-grained tannins and building length. (14.8% alcohol; aged in 25% new French oak, mostly 400- and 500-liter barrels; 3.89 pH) - Stephen Tanzer" - Antonio Galloni's Vinous (December 2019), 92 pts

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 92
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