We obtained this bottle of Force Majeure Red Mountain Syrah 2013, sourced from the Force Majeure vineyard from the winemaker Todd Alexander during his promotional tour to Chicago a couple weeks ago.
We met Todd and his wife Carie at the Italian Village Restaurant in Chicago where we introduced them to Jared Gelband, Wine Director there, (shown left), who gave us a tour of the historic legendary cellar.
I featured Todd and Force Majeure winery and vineyards in my blogpost following our meeting. We were holding this bottle for a special occasion or select time to taste the wine in a suitable setting.
This is the first vintage to reflect Todd's craftmanship of the Estate fruit based wines which will no doubt continue to be refined and fine tuned with each subsequent vintage. He is looking to produce Northern and Southern Rhone style wines based on varietals from that region including Syrah, and Bordeaux style wines from applicable varietals.
Tonight, we opened this bottle to enjoy on the deck with dinner of grilled bbq ribs, fresh sweet corn and summer salad.
This was dark inky blackish purple in color, with full bodied, thick chewy black berry and black raspberry fruits. The fruits were overtaken by tones of metallic tin, like that often found in Southern Australia Barossa Syrahs and some Washington State Syrahs. This tended to detract from the fruit and accent highlights perhaps indicating we drank this too young and that it needs time to settle and better integrate. We of course didn't want to hold this longer since it was provided to us for the purpose of tasting and sharing our observations.
The slightly astringent forward fruit provided a mouth puckering tongue coating with tangy tannins that lingered on a long finish.
As we tend to do, we save some wine to taste the next day. This was slightly more approachable after being open an extended period of time.
This was a perfect complement to the tangy bar-be-cue baby back ribs.
We drink lots of Shiraz/Syrah, mostly from Australia, as well as Syrah blends from the Southern Rhone. This wine came across as less balanced and polished than the finer Aussie Syrahs, but was more full, thicker and bigger than many Rhones. I think that in years with more ripening of the fruit, this may show more polish and balance and result in a top notch premier Syrah, rivaling the best from both regions.
RM 90 points.