Force Majeure Syrah 2019
This Red Mountain estate Syrah is grown predominantly at the top of their hillside vineyard, where it is steepest and rockiest. The vines must put put down deep roots to gather moisture and nutrients, and the soil helps to create a powerful but elegant wine with a volcanic soil backbone. There are a variety of Syrah clones and trellising methods employed, including gobelet sur echalas The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Blend: 98% Syrah, 2% Viognier
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2019 Syrah Red Mountain gives up a more earthy, darker, red and black-fruited style as well as textbook Syrah notes of new leather, ground pepper, chalky mineral, and subtle bacon fat nuances. As with many top Red Mountain releases, it has an incredible sense of minerality, especially with time in the glass. Full-bodied, concentrated, and structured, it deserves 4-5 years of bottle age if you can and will see its 20th birthday in fine form. Best After 2026.
The aromas bring notes of fractured basalt, red and black fruit, moist earth, fresh herb and spice. Pillowy soft, textured, ripe, intense dark-fruit flavors follow. A long, lingering, fruit-filled finish caps it off. The appeal is as much about feel as flavor. It's a wild ride.
Brooding and deeply structured, yet retains a sense of finesse, offering blackberry and blueberry flavors framed by smoked meat, licorice and cracked pepper.
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.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Rhône Blends of the south, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”