2017 Force Majeure Epinette Red Blend

Year: 2017
Appellation: Red Mountain, Columbia Valley
Country: USA-Washington
Wine Advocate: 92-94
Vinous Media: 93
Jeb Dunnuck: 95+
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.9%
Price :


"A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2017 Épinette opens with a clean and expressive core of black raspberry and dusty plum skin with subtle dried herbs lurking on the nose. The wine is medium to full-bodied and mineral-driven on the palate, with dusty and ripe blackberry and touches of fern and sage. The wine ends with a focused and long-lasting finish with delightful Kirsh flavors and subtle hints of oak. With only 390 cases made, this will make a lovely addition to any cellar." (WA)

"Saturated bright medium ruby. Pungent scents of blackberry, cassis, licorice, minerals, graphite and bitter chocolate, with a hint of violet lift. Then plush, savory and deep in the mouth, with the Merlot creaminess to the fore. Very broad, concentrated flavors of dark berries and graphite minerality saturate the palate and blow past the wine's substantial, dusty but fine-grained tannins on the long back end. This big boy maintains its shape, no doubt partly due to the firming influence of its Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot components. This highly successful Right Bank blend shows more of a Pomerol than a Saint-Emilion plushness of texture, supported by solid tannic structure." (VM)

"Billed as the estate’s Right Bank blend, the 2017 Epinette is all estate and 53% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot. It’s a rich, powerful, Château Pavie-like wine that has classic Red Mountain minerality as well as notes of blackcurrants, chocolate, violets, sagebrush, and white truffles. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and beautifully concentrated, with building tannins, it’s going to benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and keep for 10-15 years." (JD)

Winery Notes::
Épinette is our Right-bank Bordeaux-inspired blend, and was named after an avenue in Libourne that leads to Pomerol and Saint-Émilion, the home of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Épinette 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 our 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 our vineyard with deep, well-drained soils, much less rocky than the soils of our Rhone varietals. Before bottling, this wine evolves for approximately 22 months in mostly new French oak, after a long maceration and fermentation in concrete and stainless steel vats. This wine, along with our Cabernet Sauvignon, should age exceptionally well.