Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Force Majeure Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon at Italian Village Chicago

Force Majeure Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon at Italian Village Chicago

Mid-week business dinner with colleague Jeff L, (shown with Jared, left) we dined at my usual dine-site, Italian Village, Chicago.

Jared Gelband, wine buddy and wine director pulled from the cellar this recent acquisition, Force Majeure Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, to which he was introduced by me when we took producers Todd and Carie Alexander to the Italian Village Restaurant in Chicago and introduced them to Jared.

That was during producers Todd and Carrie Alexander release tour to Chicago a couple years ago. Jared has been stocking and offering Force Majeure ever since.

This was especially fitting for this evening as my guest, colleague Jeff L, heralds from Seattle and is an avid collector of Washington State wines. 

Our visit to Force Majeure vineyards was one of the inspirations for and objectives of our Walla Walla Wine Experience 2018. As mentioned above, we first met Force Majeure winemaker Todd Alexander and marketing, distribution and branding exec Carrie Alexander during their Chicago stop of their promotion tour in 2016 when we hosted them at Italian Village in Chicago. Since then we've acquired a respectable collection of Force Majeure wines.

We tasted and acquired this wine when we visited the Force Majeure estate during our Walla Walla Wine Experience year before last.  

FORCE MAJEURE Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

This estate Cabernet Sauvignon is grown primarily along the south-west ridge of the Force Majeure  vineyard, in soils that are deep and loamy but contain many small rocks of fractured basalt, concreted ash and granite from Missoula flood erratics. 

The 11 year old vines produce small berries with lots of power and concentration. This wine spent 22 months in 75% new French oak barrels, 340 cases were produced.  This is a blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot,1% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot.

This wine was awarded 99 points by Jeb Dunnuck who wrote; The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain Estate is a thrilling effort from winemaker Todd Alexander that rates with some of the most monumental wines to come out of Washington State.  It reveals a saturated purple color that's followed by a rich, primordial bouquet of crème de cassis, espresso roast, crushed rock, and graphite. It needs considerable air to start to show its potential yet is a full-bodied, powerful wine that has subtle oak, plenty of sweet tannins, and a huge, layered finish that won't quit. It's the tannin management that's truly spectacular. This brilliant wine needs to be forgotten for 4-5 years and will keep for 2-3 decades.”  

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate gave this 93+ points.

Dark garnet purple colored, rich, concentrated, full bodied, bright expressive ripe sweet black berry and black raspberry fruits, notes of creme de cassis, mineral, spice and dusty sweet oak on a long full flavored finish. Needs a couple years to settle and integrate the bold bright aggressive flavors.

RM 93 points.