It has been quite some time since I have visited the releases by Force Majeure Vineyards. Located on the steep upper slopes of Red Mountain, the Force Majeure Vineyard is set at 960 to 1,230 feet and is plated to Syrah and Grenache as well as Bordeaux varietals. It is a gorgeous setting with expansive views of the Columbia Valley. Recently Force Majeure purchased a small vineyard in the Walla Walla Rocks AVA to round out their collection of wines. They’ve even managed to secure land at the North Fork of the Walla Walla river and will soon plant at that very special, steep-sloped site set on broken basalt.
In 2014 Todd Alexander came to partner with proprietors Paul and Susan McBride which was a game-changer for this winery. The wines have increased considerably in quality since that time. Todd formerly served as winemaker for famed Bryant Family Vineyard in the Napa Valley. At Bryant, he worked with famed vineyard manager David Abreu as well as consultant extraordinary, Michel Rolland. Todd is a downright awesome guy to chat wine with and he is making some seriously stunning wines that deserve national attention. Todd’s winemaking style is rich and beautifully textured. He is able to craft wines that beautifully showcase this warm site but also maintain good acidity and show wonderful decadence and a rich mouthfeel.
Be on the lookout for Parabellum releases by Force Majeure which show good value, especially their 2015 Parabellum ‘Alluvio’ Red Wine (WWB, 92) which I highly recommend for its really good richness and dark fruit flavors. One of the great Syrahs that I have tried this year, the 2015 Force Majeure Syrah (WWB, 95) is the best Syrah I have tried from this AVA and shows gobs of dark fruit, serious fruit weight and a wonderful minerality. The texture of this wine is insanely good. The Bordeaux style wines from Force Majeure were hugely impressive as I highly recommend that you look into purchasing each of them. The 2015 Force Majeure Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 95) is a decadent treat with a wonderful viscosity and tension. This wine is drinking marvelously right now. One of the great Tempranillo bottlings in Washington, the 2015 Force Majeure Tempranillo (WWB, 95) shows wonderful richness and complexity and an incredible mouthfeel. Kudos to superstar winemaker, Todd Alexander, for his latest set of stunning releases out of Red Mountain. Learn more about these special wines at https://forcemajeurevineyards.com Here are the fantastic new wines by Force Majeure.
2015 Parabellum ‘Coulee’ Red Wine- The ‘Coulee’ is a blend of 56% Syrah and 44% Mourvedre. Showing off an inky color, this wine begins with an intense bouquet of black tea, chocolate covered dark cherry and Hoisin sauce. Ripe and showing a lovely rich mouthfeel, the wine shows off deep dark fruit flavors with chocolate and roasted dates. This decadent wine is best enjoyed in the short-term. Drink 2018-2024- 91
2015 Parabellum ‘Alluvio’ Red Wine- The 2015 Parabellum ‘Alluvio’ Red Wine is a silky blend of 54% Cabernet Franc, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot. The nose shows good complexity and richness with anise, creme de cassis, coffee grounds and earthy terroir. Once in the mouth there is a feeling of decadence as the wine unveils its rich texture. Black Forest cake, mocha and cigar box flavors all nicely combine and build with more air. Inviting and delicious, this great effort can be enjoyed over the next decade. Drink 2018-2028- 92
2015 Force Majeure ‘Parvata’ Red Wine- The ‘Parvata’ is a fantastic blend of 46% Mourvedre, 34% Syrah and 20% Grenache all sourced from the Force Majeure Vineyard on Red Mountain. I love the deep aromatics to this wine, ranging from smoked duck to roasted date to chocolate torte. The palate is exceedingly plush and decadent, showing a touch of opulence. Asian spice, pipe tobacco, blackberry cordial and milk chocolate fudge flavors all combine marvelously and build in the glass. Despite the serious weight of the wine there is a good minerality that provides ample backbone. Generous and downright delicious, enjoy this fantastic red blend over the next decade or so. Drink 2018-2028- 94
2015 Force Majeure Syrah- The 2015 Force Majeure Syrah is a stunning new release by the talented Todd Alexander.Grown on the top of the mountain hillside vineyard, this great wine was aged for 18 months in used French oak prior to bottling. At this juncture the wine has evolved marvelously. Gobs of blue and dark fruits greet you on the nose with lighter damp earth and citrus rind undertones that aromatically provide some nice complexity. The palate is not only decadent but shows a good degree of elegance despite its obvious fruit weight. Blueberry compote, mocha, creme de cassis and sandalwood flavors all marvelously combine. A massive Syrah, this is built for aging a decade or more. Give this an hour decant if enjoying in its youth. Drink 2018-2028- 95
2015 Force Majeure Tempranillo- A unique bottling for the AVA, the 2015 Force Majeure Tempranillo is a stunning new wine made by Todd Alexander. Showing off a deep hue, this Tempranillo shows wonderful earthy terroir with smoked brisket and black fruits the fill the nose. The palate shows of a marvelous texture and a silky mouthfeel that delights. Creme de cassis. Turkish coffee, cigar ash and Earl Grey tea flavors all marvelously combine on the palate. Decadent and rich considering the varietal, this is a spectacular and novel bottling that will cellar well for a decade or more. Drink 2018-2035- 95
2015 Force Majeure ‘Epinette’ Red Wine- The 2015 ‘Epinette’ is a silly blend of 50% Merlot with 30% Cabernet Franc and the remainder Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot all sourced from the Force Majeure Vineyard. This wine really needs a two hour decant to be fully aroused aromatically. The wine shows brilliant aromatics of brandy soaked cherry, sagebrush, creme de cassis and coffee grounds. The mouthfeel is rich and seductive, showing mocha, anise, creme de cassis and black cherry compote flavors. Rich, polished and layered, this is a simply spectacular showing by Force Majerue. Drink 2018-2038- 95
2015 Force Majeure Cabernet Sauvignon- A massive and decadent Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2015 Force Majeure shows off its inky color in the glass. Needing two hours to breathe in the decanter, the wine slowly starts to unveil ultra-rich aromas of sweet pipe tobacco, creme de cassis, graphite and blackberry cobbler with dark chocolate shavings. The mouthfeel is highly viscous and smooth, delighting the senses. Creme de cassis, loganberry cordial, black forest cake and cigar box flavors all combine with mouth-watering acidity. A complete wine, this decadent treat will cellar well for decades but is completely irresistible right now. Drink 2018-2040- 95