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Force Majeure Estate Syrah 2018

ID No: 447834
Vintage:2018
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 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 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
Lismore Syrah Reserve 2018

Lismore Estate Syrah is made from 100 percent Syrah.

A careful selection of the best of the vintage that exemplifies the extraordinary terroir of Lismore.

An exotic experience which shifts your mind to another place. Cassis, brambles and succulent cherry. White pepper, classic garrigue and the strong floral perfume of crushed violets. Light and elegant, but structured with a fresh acidity. To experience the best this wine has to offer, decanting is suggested.

The grapes were fermented 40% whole bunch in a 5000 litre wooden fermenter with gentle pigeage throughout. The process allowed for a long extraction period which lends to the fruit expression of this wine. The wine was left for a 30 day extended maceration on the skins and then pressed in a traditional baskets press. Matured in 500 litre barrels for 10 months (35% new). Time in the bottle will allow integration, the deepening of layers and full expression of the fruit.


Review:


"This is the best release yet from Lismore, superior even to the impressive 2017. Made from blocks that are now 13 years' old, this is wonderfully, enticingly floral, showcasing all that is best about Syrah: aromatic spices, layered cherry and strawberry fruit, bright acidity, some tannic backbone, subtle whole bunch notes and a long finish. The oak is on point, the alcohol daringly restrained. 2020-30 Greyton (13.2%)"

- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2019 Special Report), 97 pts


"The 2018 Estate Reserve Syrah contains 50% whole-bunch fruit and is aged in 500- and 700-liter barrels, 30% new. It has an extremely pure, slightly floral bouquet of bright blueberry and black currant fruit infused with scents of crushed iris petals and violets, almost Burgundian in style. The palate is extremely well balanced with perfectly pitched acidity and filigreed tannins. There is an unerring sense of weightlessness about this Syrah, which is one of the most precise Lismore reds I have encountered over several years of tasting. Absolutely stunning. - Neal Martin"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2019), 97 pts


 Vinous Antonio Galloni: 97 97 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 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

 97 Points
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
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
Grape yield per hectare: 70 quintals
Harvest: Mid September


Vinification: The grapes are gently pressed and then the wine-must obtained is refrigerated in stainless steel vats to allow the lees to settle. After 24-36 hours the juice is separated from the lees and fermented at a controlled temperature. Bottling is done in sterile conditions. Aged in stainless steel tanks and matured in the bottle.


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 Rouge La Brulade 2017

Begude Bandol Rouge La Brulade is made from  95% Mourvedre and 5% Grenache.

"La Brulade" is the name of a select slope located at an altitude of 400 meters overlooking the Mediterranean sea between La Baie d'Amour (the town of La Ciotat) in the South and La Sainte Baume in the North. This is one of the highest parcels in the Bandol appellation.
The wine is only produced in exceptional vintages. This carefully selected blend is made of 95% Mourvedre and 5% Grenache, aged in large French oak barrels for 24 months.
The wine shows a deep purple color. It is fresh and fruity on the nose with intense garrigue aromas. Structured, elegant and well-balanced on the palate with strong tannins. Licorice, ripe black fruits, garrigue flavors and some peppery freshness on the finish.

The 35-year old grapes are grown on clay and limestone soils and are farmed organically. Yield is very low - 15hl/ha. The grapes are harvested manually.
Winemaking: Double selection, destemming, crushing before skin contact fermentation. No filtration. Aging for 24 months in French oak casks (600L).

Grilled meat (lamb, beef, boar), Mediterranean cuisine, spicy dishes.

Review:


"Complex nose with deep black berry fruits, spice and hints of polish. Really lovely texture with layers of creamy red and black fruits, spices and powerful but super fine tannins. Great expression of the appellation; powerfully long."

- Decanter World Wine Award 2020 - 97 pts & Platinum Medal



 97 Points
Begude Bandol Rouge 2017

Begude Bandol Rouge is made from 90% Mourvèdre, 10% Grenache.

Eye: dark ruby colored

Nose: Intense, aromatic, fresh and elegant

Mouth: Structured on black fruits flavors, lightly woody , tanins are strong an firm in their early days (<5years) Good acidity give freshness backbone and great fruit/alcoholic balance . Delicate final on spices.

Opening: Decant 4-6 hours before serving

Soil: Clay-limestone Culture: Organic without pesticides nor chemicals additives Yield: 20 hectoliters/hectare Harvest: Manual in small cases Winemaking: Double sorting, 100% destemming, skin contact, with daily sticking in order to optimize color and aromatic extraction Alcoholic fermentation 15 days followed by malo lactic fermentation. Aging: 18 months in oak cask Bottling:  

Grilled lamb, meat cooked with sauce, southern French cuisine and tasty dishes (tajines, couscous, paellas).

Review:

"Inviting spicy oak, malt and blackberry cream scents. Powerfully structured tannins, spicy liquorice and clove flavours as well as bramble fruit; very long finish. Its best years are far into the future. Terrific stuff."

- Decanter World Wine Awards 2020, 97 pts & Platinum Medal



 

 
 97 Points
Segries Secret de la Grange Lirac 2016

Segries Secret Grange Lirac Rouge  is made from 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah.

This is a new wine for Chateau de Segries. 2013 is the first vintage.

The wine is dark and inky. 
The aromas are intense and complex. It has fruit flavors of course, Strawberry and Blackberry, but it also have some interesting spice components, garrigue, pepper and licorice.


The finish is long and very pleasant as the tannins are round and well integrated.

La Grange is the name of the parcel where the grapes are grown. The soil is Clay and Limestone.
The average age of the vines is 80 years old.

Classic vinification in temperature controlled tanks. The skin contact maceration lasted 30 days and was completed in cement tanks.

The wine went through MaloLactic fermentation and was bottled without filtration.La Grange is the name of the parcel where the grapes are grown. The soil is Clay and Limestone.

The average age of the vines is 80 years old.

Classic vinification in temperature controlled tanks. The skin contact maceration lasted 30 days and was completed in cement tanks.

The wine went through MaloLactic fermentation and was bottled without filtration.

Review:

"The estate’s top wine is the 2016 Lirac Secret de la Grange, a 90-10 blend of Grenache and Syrah that never sees oak. This full-bodied blend is fabulously concentrated and lush, with ripe fruit flavors of raspberries and stone fruits, an intriguing hint of almond paste and a rich, long finish tinged with licorice. It should drink well for up to a decade. - Joe Czerwinski"


- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #233, October 2017), 93 pts

Crisp, spice-inflected blackberry and black cherry flavors are anchored by a cooling mineral undertone in this stand-out Grenache-Syrah blend. It's ripe and glossy on the palate but pertly balanced with bristling aciditywine enthusiast 93 pts and a lingering stony finish. At peak now but should improve through 2028 and hold further. - ANNA LEE C. IIJIMA" - --

-Wine Enthusiast (December 2020), 93 pts

 Wine Advocate: 93 Wine Enthusiast: 93
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