Previously known as Grand Rêve, Force Majeure was founded in 2004 by Paul McBride. 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.
Force Majeure recently announced the hiring of Todd Alexander, formerly of Bryant Family Vineyards, as the winemaker for the Force Majeure Estate wines.
Force Majeure does two release parties per year. The release party this past Saturday was noteworthy as it marked the debut of Force Majeure’s new winery. The winery, located near the Woodinville Warehouse District, is a huge step up from the previous facility. Concrete tanks, barrel storage and space for winemaker dinners were just a few of the highlights.
The following wines were poured at the release party:
- 2011 Collaboration Series I
- 2011 Collaboration Series III
- 2011 Collaboration Series V
- 2010 Collaboration Series Ptera
- 2012 Collaboration Series Grenache
The wines are all rich, dense, extracted and hedonistic. I was too busy catching up with friends to take detailed notes. That being said, the wines were all exceptional. The best wine was the CS III followed closely by the CS V and CS I. Force Majeure continues to make big strides with their Cabernet based wines. The Grenache has huge upside but is painfully young. The Ptera is well made but was outclassed by the others. If you need scores, I would say 92 on the low end with the CS III in the 95-96 point range.
Paul McBride told me the plan is to move towards 75% Estate wines with just a few Collaboration Series wines per year, as mailing list only.
Exciting times at Force Majeure!
Force Majeure warrants your attention and (as I write this) the winery is still accepting names for their mailing list.
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