Force Majeure Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
Force Majeure's estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a powerful but elegant, full-bodied wine that is grown primarily along the southwest ridge of the winery's vineyard, in soils that are deep and loamy but contain many small rocks of fractured basalt, concreted ash and even some granite from Missoula flood erratics. 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.
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Another gem is the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain Estate, a deep, concentrated, powerful Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon that I suspect will be up there with the legendary wines from this terroir. Beautiful cassis, graphite, lead pencil shavings, and damp earth notes give way to a full-bodied effort that has a liqueur of rocks-like minerality, flawless balance, building yet polished tannins, and a great finish. Hide bottles for 4-5 years, and it will evolve for 25-30 years if properly stored. Best After 2026. Rating : 98+
Seductive from the first tilt of the glass, the 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain Estate wafts up with a rich mix of crushed plums, sweet lavender and hints of blood orange. This is pure elegance on the palate, velvety and opulent, yet harmonious, with brisk acids and salty mineral tones that add a lovely tension. The 2019 finishes incredibly long and structured with echoes of red plum and mocha. This is a beast in need of taming. Make sure to lose your bottles in the cellar for a number of years.
A gutsy red that retains a sense of style and polish, with expressive blackberry, espresso and toasty spice flavors that build structure toward broad-shouldered tannins.
This Herculean effort involved the careful matching of varietal and clonal selections, trellising and irrigation to the nine distinct soil types formed by the ancient Missoula floods, winds and volcanic activity. The outcome is a vineyard articulated into many small "micro-blocks," to meet the management demands of this unique and dynamic site. Due to the rough, rocky nature of the acreage and elevations ranging from 960 to 1,230 feet, mechanization is virtually impossible in the upper portion of Force Majeure, requiring true "farming by hand." Yet the lower blocks of the vineyard are comprised of deep, well-drained Warden soils.
Thus, the diversity of our vineyard results in a versatility that allows us to grow a variety of compelling fruit characterized by stunning intensity, depth and concentration, complex flavors and fine tannins. We nurture a variety of Bordeaux and Rhone varietals at this special site and look forward to sharing, quite literally, the "fruits of our labor" with you.
A coveted source of top quality red grapes among premier Washington producers, the Red Mountain AVA is actually the smallest appellation in the state. As its name might suggest, it is actually neither a mountain nor is it composed of red earth. Instead the appellation is an anticline of the Yakima fold belt, a series of geologic folds that define a number of viticultural regions in the surrounding area. It is on the eastern edge of Yakima Valley with slopes facing southwest towards the Yakima River, ideal for the ripening of grapes. The area’s springtime proliferation of cheatgrass, which has a reddish color, actually gives the area the name, "Red" Mountain.
Red Mountain produces some of the most mineral-driven, tannic and age-worthy red wines of Washington and there are a few reasons for this. It is just about the hottest appellation with normal growing season temperatures commonly reaching above 90F. The soil is particularly poor in nutrients and has a high pH, which results in significantly smaller berry sizes compared to varietal norms. The low juice to skin ratio in smaller berries combined with the strong, dry summer winds, leads to higher tannin levels in Red Mountain grapes.
The most common red grape varieties here are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, among others. Limited white varieties are grown, namely Sauvignon blanc.
The reds of the area tend to express dark black and blue fruit, deep concentration, complex textures, high levels of tannins and as previously noted, have good aging capabilities.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe, its best examples showing potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in Bordeaux's Medoc where it is often blended with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbecand Petit Verdot. In the Napa Valley, ‘Cab’ is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines. Somm Secret—DNA profiling in 1997 revealed that Cabernet Sauvignon was born from a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc in 17th century southwest France.