2018 Force Majeure Estate Syrah

Year: 2018
Appellation: Red Mountain, Columbia Valley
Country: USA - Washington
Wine Advocate: 93+
Vinous Media: 93+
Jeb Dunnuck: 98
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.9%
Price :


"Displaying an opaque core with vibrant purple tears, the 2018 Estate Syrah has a bold and expressive nose with fresh, ripe blackberries, dark plum, dusty black cherry skin, elements of black raspberry, hints of pencil shavings and brilliant elegant oak tones. Full-bodied, it is expressive with juicy tannins, where you almost end up chewing the wine, giving way to a balanced structure with a black-fruited core and polished purple floral grip. Tasting this wine, you get the sense of the warmth and intensity that Red Mountain imprints on the expression. The food-friendly wine concludes with a long, drawn-out finish and flavors of dusty bitter dark chocolate. This was made using 15% whole cluster Syrah and fermented with native yeast in concrete and open stainless steel vessels. Roughly 400 cases were produced." (WA)

"Saturated bright ruby to the rim. Deeper-pitched than the Parvata, showing a brooding mineral quality but also lovely incipient sweetness to the aromas of blackberry, cassis, bitter chocolate and crushed rock; not a gamey style of Syrah. Even sweeter in the mouth, and offering a sexy savory quality that contributes to its early personality. The crushed dark berry, black cherry, licorice and bitter chocolate flavors carry through to the firm-edged, savory finish, which cries out for patience. This too is quite primary and yet it totally avoids hardness. Tannins are firm but ripe and harmonious, with the long finish showing a bit more grip and energy than the Parvata. (vinified with about 15% whole clusters)" (VM)

"Looking at the 2018 Syrah Red Mountain Estate, which comes from the estate on Red Mountain, it saw a splash of Viognier and 15% stems, with the élevage in a mix of new and used French oak barrels. Revealing a dense purple hue as well as a powerful, full-bodied style, it offers gorgeous cassis and blackberry fruits interwoven with lots of rocky minerality, beef blood, smoked game, and chocolatey nuances. These carry to a full-bodied, concentrated, opulent Syrah that reminds me of a Ermitage Le Méal from the likes of Chapoutier (I pulled one from my cellar to compare) with its ripe, sexy, yet still structured and layered texture. This is a beautiful, world-class Syrah from Red Mountain that will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and keep for over a decade.

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." (JD)

Winery Notes:
The Force Majeure estate Syrah is cultivated in a combination of the 8 soil types that exist in our vineyard, with most of it being planted in very steep, very rocky locations, but some also planted in deeper, loamier soils. Fermentation takes place after cold soak in a combination of concrete and stainless steel vats, with some lots in the final blend seeing extended maceration and co-fermentation with Viognier also grown on our site. Élevage is carried out in a combination of new and used French oak barrels and puncheons for +/- 18 months, and the wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered. 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.