Bottle Notes, Merlot

2006 Force Majeure CS IV – Bottle Notes

Previously known as Grand Rêve, Force Majeure was founded in 2004 by Paul McBride and Ryan Johnson. Force Majeure pairs some of Washington’s highly acclaimed winemakers with fruit from one of Washington’s highly acclaimed vineyards, Ciel du Cheval. The winemakers contributing to the Collaboration Series is a Who’s Who of Washington winemakers including Ben Smith, Carolyn Lakewold, Chris Gorman, James Mantone, Mark McNeilly, Mike McMorran and Ross Mickel.

The CS IV is a blend of 75% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Cabernet Franc. The wine is made by Carolyn Lakewold of Donedei Wines.

Crimson in color. 13.7% ABV. Red fruits, leather and anise on the nose. Liquid velvet. Cherries, currants, cassis and molten chocolate cake on the palate. Caressing, silky tannins on a classic finish. Great wine that could go another 3-5 years in the cellar.

My rating: 94 points.

On a short list of a top Washington Merlots with Leonetti, Long Shadows and Northstar.

Force Majeure warrants your attention and (as I write this) the winery is still accepting names for their mailing list.

In other news Force Majeure recently announced the hiring of Todd Alexander, formerly of Bryant Family Vineyards, as the winemaker for the Force Majeure Estate wines. Ryan Johnson has left the winery and started a vineyard consulting company. Finally, a new facility for the winery will be up and running in time for the November Release Party. More to come on all of the above.

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