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Force Majeure Estate Syrah 2018

ID No: 447834
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 100 Points
Vintage:2018
Bottle Size:750 ml
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 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


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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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

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Avennia Arnaut Syrah 2018

Avennia Arnaut Syrah is made of 100% Syrah

For our taste, no one grows finer Syrah in the state than Dick Boushey. We named this wine after the Provencal Troubadour Arnaut Daniel, who invented the Sestina poem form, thus creating a connection between our two flagship efforts.

"Deep, dark Syrah notes on the nose, with dark blackberry, blueberry reduction, grilled meat, crushed olive, black licorice, camphor, pen ink, and cracked black pepper. The palate is super concentrated and dense, tightly focused, and deeply complex. Savory blueberry, pan drippings, a hint of orange essence, and hand-rubbed sage come through on the extremely long and nuanced finish. A compelling wine that will age for a couple decades at least." - Chris Peterson, Winemaker

We make this wine with minimal manipulation, using native yeasts and bottling unfined and unfiltered, to allow the "place" to shine through.

AVA: Yakima Valley
Blend: 100% Boushey Vineyard Syrah
Winemaking: 15% whole cluster, native yeast, 15% new French oak, aged 16 months, bottled unfined & unfiltered.


Review:

The 2018 Syrah Arnaut Boushey Vineyard is all varietal and was 85% destemmed and aged 16 months in 15% new French oak. Offering an Hermitage-like meatiness as well as lots of black and blue fruits, full-bodied richness, a round, expansive texture, and beautiful violet, floral, and gamey aromas and flavors, it’s brilliant, concentrated red delivering notable ripeness as well as a plenty of underlying structure and tannins. Again, a comparison to a top Hermitage comes closest in comparison. Give bottles 2-4 years and enjoy over the following 10-15 years.

-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points


 

 97 Points
Mordoree Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge La Reine des Bois 2019

Mordoree Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Reine des Bois is made from Grenache 75 %,  Mourvèdre 10%,  Syrah 10 % , Counoise 3% &  Vaccarese 2%.

This premium cuvee - whose name means "Queen of the Woods" - is from 65-year-old vines, planted on Villafranchian-era terrasses. Yield is 30 hl/ha.

Deep ruby red; opaque. Aromas of red fruits change to wooden touches of leather, black truffles and coffee. Fat, concentrated and full flavored with a very long liquoriced and fruity finish.

Pairs with red meats, sauce dishes, game animals (woodcock, wild boar) and semi mature cheeses.

Review:

"The 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée De La Reine des Bois is a deeper, more masculine wine with gorgeous cassis and blackberry fruits as well as graphite, licorice, crushed stone, violets, and lavender nuances. Rich, full-bodied, and incredibly concentrated, it has a brilliant sense of freshness and purity as well as length on the finish. It's going to require 4-5 years of bottle age, but this straight-up thrilling Châteauneuf du Pape will have 20-25 years of prime drinking."

- Jeb Dunnuck (November 2021), 98+ pts




 98 Points
Jada Strayts 2017

Jada Strayts is made from Paso Robles   51% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petite Sirah, 13% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec.

One of the most challenging yet rewarding grapes to grow on the Jada Estate Vineyard, Merlot still dominates this blend at 51% of the volume. Bright cherry and plum with balanced barrel spice, black pepper, clove and dried tea leaves. Creamy, milk chocolate mouthfeel and refreshing acidity on the finish.

Strayts refers to the Straits of Messina, a body of water that separates Italy from the Sicily and the city from which they get their family name. For those literary scholars amongst you, it may have been the inspiration for the legend of Scylla and Charybdis, described by Homer in the Odyssey. No sea monsters or whirlpools here.

The Strayts is a Merlot-focused blend, using Merlot from one block in the Jada Estate Vineyard. The block encompasses elevation changes over 75 feet, as well as soil types ranging from calcareous to deep, clay loam. The 2017 vintage demanded multiple picks on this block, starting 9/14/2017 and ending 10/6/2017, to see proper maturity throughout. Fermentations in this blend ranged from 14 to 19 days using a combination of pump-overs and hand punch-downs. The blend is aged in mostly medium toast barrels to preserve delicate aromatics, while supporting the richness and spice of the Merlot. Aging for 15 months (31% 500L barrels, 69% 225L barrels) in 53% New French Oak, 47% Neutral Oak.

Review:

"The Merlot-dominated cuvée, the 2017 Strayts is a blend of 51% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Petite Sirah, 13% Petit Verdot, and 3% Malbec. Notes of black cherries, toasted spice, dried earth, underbrush, and graphite notes all flow to a medium-bodied, rounded, supple wine that has good tannins, outstanding balance, and a charming, character-filled style."
- Jeb Dunnuck (October 2019), 91 pts

 91 Points
Fenocchio Roero Arneis 2020

The light hay coloring is loaded with greenish reflections. The fragrance is soft and complex, especially inviting with aromas hinting broom, chamomile and fresh fruit. The flavor is pleasantly tangy, full and very persistent.

Area of production: Monteu Roero

Fenocchio Roero Arneis is made from 100% Arneis
Vineyards area: 1.2 hectares (2.98 acres)
Exposition: Southeast
Altimetry: Hilly zone at around 300/350 meters a.s.l
Soil: calcareous,clay, soil of medium texture
Age of the vineyards: 10/15 years
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Tasting notes: the light hay coloring is loaded with greenish reflections. The fragrance is soft and complex, especially inviting with aromas hinting broom, chamomile and fresh fruit. The flavor is pleasantly tangy, full and very persistent.


Food Pairing: Great as an aperitif. Pairs nicely with saucy dishes white meats and grilled fish .
Serving temperature: Recommended serving temperature is around 10 - 12 degrees Celcius (52-56 degrees Fahrenheit)
Alcohol: Approx. 13-13,5% Vol
Total acidity: Approx. 5.5 – 5.8 g/L

 
Begude Bandol Blanc 2019

Begude Bandol Blanc  is made from 80% Clairette, 10% Rolle and 10% Ugni Blanc

Pale yellow color with bright highlights.
Expressive aromas of citrus fruits. Juicy, fresh, fleshy and opulent on the palate, it is precise and elegant with ample texture, good acidity and great balance fruit /alcohol.

Organic Agriculture
Yields: 20hl/ha
Average age of the vines: 30 years
Manual harvest in small crates.
Double sorting, total destemming.
Molding and pressing of the grapes prior to alcoholic fermentation.
Vinification in vats and aging in oak barrels (one-year old) for 6 months.

Pairs well with white meats, grilled fish, shellfish, vegetables, tapenades. Exotic and Mediterranean cuisine.


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:


"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 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 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 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
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
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