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Force Majeure Estate Syrah 2016

ID No: 446637
Vintage:2016
Bottle Size:750 ml
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Force Majeure Estate Syrah 2017

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:

"A stunning, world-class wine from Red Mountain, the 2017 Syrah Estate is the finest example yet from this steep, rocky terroir and winemaker Todd Alexander. With extraordinary notes of blackberry, smoked game, cassis, graphite, charred meats, and spring flowers, it’s reminiscent of a top Cote Rotie from the Cote Blonde. With full-bodied richness, a beautiful, layered, multi-dimensional texture, ripe tannins, and integrated oak, it’s beautiful today yet will benefit from short-term cellaring and cruise for 15-20 years or more in cool cellars. This sensational wine will stand toe to toe with the best out there." - Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 99 pts

 99 Points
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 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 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 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
Product Description

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 2016 Syrah Estate checks in as 100% Syrah that saw a small amount of stems. It spent 18 months in 25% new French oak. Deeply colored, it displays a thrilling bouquet of smoked black fruits, violets, smoked meats, charcoal, and graphite. Deep, rich, incredibly fleshy and flamboyant, with perfect balance, it's a serious, world-class Syrah that will keep for 10-15 years."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 97 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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A 100% Tempranillo red wine, elegant and with a long and persistent finish. The personality of the Ribera del Duero and the passion of its craftsmen are reflected in every sip of 17.

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Nose: The nose is regal and highly perfumed, expressing the classic fruit profile of Tempranillo with its own unique finesse very reminiscent of fine Burgundy. Black forest fruits, plum, and blueberry dominate with hints of light accents of vanilla, cacao nibs and cedar playing a supporting, background role.

Palate: The palate broods with fresh plum and berry compote laced with high-toned red fruits. The wine has broad shoulders, but also soft edges with chalky tannins and a lively mineral acidity driving a long and supple finish.

Review:

Bodegas Pinea, a new entry in Ribera del Duero, is off to an excellent start.  Founded just this decade, their first release of their flagship wine, Pinea, was in 2017, which gave rise to the name of this wine, 17, their second label.  Brimming with spice and dark fruit flavors, it’s a terrific second wine.  Made entirely from Tempranillo, it’s certainly big, but not boisterous or overdone.  Its depth nicely balances its 14.8 percent stated alcohol, keeping it in check.  To be sure, it’s a winter kind of wine, perfect for hearty roast or a leg of lamb.  This is not a before-dinner sipper.  For all its power, it is not heavy or over-the-top.  An uplifting raciness keeps it going throughout a meal.  An attractive hint of tar-like bitterness in the finish balances its fruitiness.  I just wish they’d ditch the overly heavy bottle.  The wine speaks for itself.   

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 94 Points
Domaine Sipp Mack Alsace Riesling Grand Cru Rosacker 2015

Domaine Sipp Mack Riesling Grand Cru ROSACKER is made from 100 percent Riesling. 

Named after the wild roses growing along its border, the Grand Cru Rosacker vineyards extend to the north of Hunawihr over a surface of 26.18 Ha (64.7 acre). The vineyards face east-south-east at an altitude between 260 and 330m. The soil, a heavy, grey limestone with intertwined layers of marl (calcareous clay), is very rich in calcium and magnesium. Sipp Mack cultivates 2.10 Ha (5.2 acre) of Riesling Grand Cru Rosacker.

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TERROIR The terroir is heavy limestone and marl with light layers of sandstone.

CÉPAGES Riesling : 100% SPECIFICATIONS Residual Sugar (g/l): 7.7 g/l pH: 3.2 Acidity (g/l): 6 g/l

SERVING Can be aged 10-15 years. Store on side between 10-15°C. Ideally served between 8-10°C.

Review:

"Juicy lively tangerine notes dominate on the inviting nose. On the palate this juicy tanginess continues with constant veering between fruity richness of ripe flesh and zesty tart peel. There is an underlying freshness here that shines through all of the fruitful generosity and fills mouth and mind with swirling clouds of ripe citrus. The finish is dry, the body is concentrated and intense, the structure is of vivid freshness. Lovely now, certain to evolve. Drink now through 2038." Anne Krebiehl,

-Wine Enthusiast, 31/12/2018  95 Points

 Wine Enthusiast: 95
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DuMOL Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

DuMOL Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100 percent Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon


Winemaker’s Notes:


Our 2016 Napa Valley Cabernet is a classically built wine typical of this wonderful Napa vintage: deep fruit, enveloping texture, mineral freshness and long supple structure. It’s a harmonious interweaving of four distinct vineyards that intricately balances power and finesse.

With its exceptional farming and rocky volcanic soil, Meteor Vineyard is one of the finest sites in Coombsville. Its fruit dominates the blend and ensures both intensity and delicacy, with soaring aromatics followed by succulent dark fruit. 

True Dog Knoll serves as a new focal point in this vintage, its world-renowned west Oakville deep gravel soils bringing deep texture and mineral focus. 

Layering in a small amount of Petit Verdot from our Roach Estate in St. Helena provides an element of blue fruit and refinement that balances beautifully with the darker brooding power of Ballard Vineyard’s mountaintop muscle and structure.

With its harmonious layers and textures, this wine reminds me of the 2012 Napa Valley vintage. Dark, inky and opaque, it presents aromas of plum, violets and graphite. Beautiful fruit cascades almost immediately to more savory flavors: crushed rock dustiness, cocoa and cedar. A good, firm mineral spine runs through to the long, bittersweet finish. Ever-evolving in the glass, this wine is poised now and will age beautifully over the next 10+ years.


Review:

A ripe, friendly style, with a creamy-textured core of cassis and cherry preserve flavors underscored by anise and apple wood notes that stay nicely

melded with the fruit on the finish. There’s a lingering cast iron note keeping this grounded. -Wine Spectator 93 Points


 Wine Spectator: 93
Ferren Pinot Noir Silver Eagle Vineyard 2017

Ferren Pinot Noir Silver Eagle Vineyard is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.

Winemaker Matt Courtney learned what he knows of Pinot Noir on the Sonoma Coast during his eight-year apprenticeship with Helen Turley of Marcassin Vineyards. At Ferren he employs artisan methods crafting his wines in small lots from single-vineyard sources with native fermentation and without fining or filtration. | Falling Bright

Silver Eagle Vineyard rests atop Stoetz Ridge, the land mass that divides the remote Sonoma Coast from the Russian River Valley. This vineyard experiences both the cooling ocean breezes of the nearby Pacific, as well as the warmth of the interior valley. The wine made from this unique confluence of climates is extraordinary: the Pinot Noir a rare balance of explosive wild berry, mouthwatering acidity, and rich, polished tannins; the Chardonnay a fascinating juxtaposition of briny minerality and candied citrus. [ The late Ulises Valdez - brilliant vineyard manager and owner of this vineyard - built his family home on this spectacular site.] | Ferren

Review:

All destemmed and aged 18 months in one-third new French oak, the 2017 Pinot Noir Silver Eagle Vineyard has a fresher, more edgy texture to go with a medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated style on the palate. It's more backward and tight, especially when compared to the Sonoma Coast release, yet still has beautiful notes of black raspberries, wild strawberries, violets, sappy herbs, and a touch of forest floor. Give it a year, and it's going to have a decade of prime drinking. 

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"Refined and elegant, with a lithe, creamy texture to the dried red fruit and berry flavors, lengthening out with forest forest floor notes. The fine-grained, minerally finish shows leafy accents and hints of sandalwood. Drink now through 2025.—K.M.”

- Wine Spectator Insider (March 18th 2020), 94 pts


 Wine Spectator: 94 95 Points
Tuck Beckstoffer Mad Hatter Napa Valley Red 2018

Tuck Beckstoffer Mad Hatter Napa Valley Red is made from 66%Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Old Vine Petit Sirah, 10% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot.

Under the winemaking and farming direction of Shawn Johnson and Tuck Beckstoffer, vineyard blocks were selected with a blend of micro climates and soils to highlight the best Napa Valley has to offer, creating a wine with complex aromas, purity of fruit, balance, and a long silky finish.

Since the beginning of Mad Hatter in 2003, our goal has been to craft an elegant Bordeaux blend using grapes grown throughout the Napa Valley. The 2018 vintage continues this commitment, with a sophisticated blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Old Vine Petite Sirah, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc.

Expressive aromas of black plum, wild hyacinth, and clove. The palette evolves flavors of black cherry, dark chocolate, and baking spice further enhanced by the wine’s velvety tannins, and long delicate finish. Pair this wine with pan roasted pheasant, grilled root vegetables, or a charred Ribeye steak. 

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