Force Majeure Epinette is made from 79% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 5% 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.
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.
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.
-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points