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Force Majeure Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

ID No: 446718
Vintage:2016
Bottle Size:750 ml
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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 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 2018

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


 99 Points
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 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:


"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 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
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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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.


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
Roland Champion Grand Cru Champagne Blanc de Blancs NV

Roland Champion Champagne Blanc de Blancs NV is aged for minimum 30 months (the minimum for NV is 15 months). This cuvee is made from 100% Chardonnay and is produced from the free run juice only. The current release is the result of the blend of the 2005, the 2006 and the 2007 vintage.
Fresh and delicate, its fine bubbles and wide range of aromas will be perfect as an aperitif. This Champagne will also match very well with seafood and shellfish.

dosage : 8 grams per liter
ageing : 30 months on laths
Even if it doesn't say on the label, 100% of the production is RD (Recently Disgorged)
Total Production for this Cuvée : 1,500 cases (9 liter equivalent) per year
 

Reviews:

"(L40): Light yellow-gold. Musky pear and peach pit aromas are enlivened by notes of lemon zest and chalk. Weighty but energetic, offering powerful orchard fruit flavors and hints of candied fig and lemon curd. The pear skin quality comes back strong on the clinging finish. This powerful Champagne is definitely better suited for duty at the table than for serving by itself. - Josh Raynolds" - Antonio Galloni's Vinous (Dec 2012), 91 pts


- Roger VOSS"

Wine Enthusiast (December 1st 2019), 92 pts


"Golden yellow color. Lively, fruity, toasty leesy aromas of honeyed brioche and apple tart with a satiny, tangy, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a sleek, interesting, snappy lemon curd, nougat, and chalk finish with silky, soft, fruit tannins. A classic example of blanc de blanc champagne, delicious."
- Beverage Testing institute , 93 pts

"Spiced with ground anise and ginger accents, this offers notes of poached pear, lemon meringue pie, hazelnut and stony mineral. Very elegant and well-meshed throughout, with a silky finish.  Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 1,500 cases made. –AN"
- Wine Spectator  92 pts

"This cuvée made from 100% Chardonnay offers a fresh aromatic nose of light toast, dried yellow fruit and nuances of yeast. On the palate it has a creamy mouth feel of toasted nuts and rich autolytic notes. This is a beautiful wine, rich and complex."
International Wine review  92+ pts



"Small grower. Autumn fruits dominate the aromas of this wine, which is blatantly more like a wine than we normally expect a champagne to be. Some may find that unexpected and even off-putting, while others will find it intriguingly delicious."
- Washington Post  - EXCELLENT

"Roland Champion is a small family-owned producer, now with the fourth generation, in the village of Chouilly (”shoo-ee”), which has only Grand Cru vineyards. Made from 100 percent chardonnay grapes, this Champagne offers ethereal grace and poise and harmony; if I were fighting a duel tonight, I would ask for this Champagne as my last beverage. The nose here is about the richness of warm biscuits and hazelnuts, dried fruit and spice, like a Platonic, ineffably light fruitcake; in the mouth, however, it’s about a structure that encompasses an incredible marriage of power and elegance, like the delicacy and strength of the finest bone china. And there’s something porcelain-like about this Champagne, in its notable crisp, lively character, its transparency and its slightly chalky, shale-like mineral elements. Forget the Champagnes that come on with heavy toasty, caramel qualities; here, instead, is a wealth of subtlety and nuance touched with a racy, dynamic edge. Exceptional."
Biggerthanyourhead.net 

 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 91 Wine Enthusiast: 92 Wine Spectator: 92 International Wine Review: 92 93 Points
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