Thursday, November 18, 2021

Force Majeure Parabellum Coulée Red Blend 2019

Force Majeure Parabellum Coulée Columbia Valley GSM Red Blend 2019

With D-in-law Vivianna out of town visiting a bereaving friend, son Alec came over for dinner and we selected a special bottle to accompany Linda's dinner of grilled steaks, baked potatoes, haricot verts and asparagus.

We recently received our annual vintage release case assortment shipment of Force Majeure Columbia Valley wines and we were eager to try this hearty GSM - Syrah blend, one of Linda's favorite labels. After the Force Majeure Parvata Syrah was such a blockbuster hit at our Pour Boys wine dinner last month, Linda is especially fond of this producer and label.

Our visit to Force Majeure estate vineyards in Walla Walla was a highlight of our Walla Walla Wine Experience trip to the region back in 2017 and we were hosted and our estate visits were orchestrated by Force Majeure Carrie Alexander. Once Covid subsides, our Pour Boys wine group is looking forward to visiting the region for some select estate visits and wine dinners. 

Force Majeure Parabellum Coulée Columbia Valley Rhone Blend GSM 2019

Force Majeure is a collaborative project of emerging superstar winemaker Todd Alexander in partnership with proprietors Paul and Susan McBride when they acquired the winery in 2014. Todd earned his stripes and gained notoriety as winemaker for Bryant Family Vineyard in the Napa Valley, one of the top producers of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. He was drawn to Washington and Columbia Valley by the opportunity to develop his own brands and labels based on underappreciated viticulture there. 

We first met Todd and Carrie Alexander when they visited us here in Chicago while they were traveling on their promotion and release tour back in 2016

Our visit to the Force Majeure estate vineyard in the Walla Walla Rocks AVA, was a highlight of our visit to the region, hosed by Todd's wife, Carrie Alexander who manages marketing and operations. Since then, they have purchased property at and planted vineyards at the North Fork of the Walla Walla river and have released their own Paxsa Brand and labels. Both Force Majeure and Paxsa brands focus on Rhone as well as Bordeaux varietals. Recent releases have also featured Pinot Noir from the region. 

This label is sourced from the estate vineyard located on the steep upper slopes of Red Mountain, sitting at 960 to 1,230 feet elevation in the Columbia River valley in central Washington State. This is from the Parabellum brand, the second-tier of Force Majeure wines, yet still produced with care to reflect the varieties and terroir and be approachable for early consumption and gratification, without constraints on blending. Parabellum and the rest of the brand are intended to "provide an opportunity to savor an authentic wine of distinction at a great value." To that end, Parabellum wines are unrestrained imaginative blends of both Bordeaux and Rhone varietals.

I called this a GSM above, a reference to common blend of Rhone varietals Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. This is a blend of northern and southern Rhone varietals, almost akin to a Syrah heavy Chateauneuf-du-Pape, consisting of 76% Syrah, 11% Grenache, 7% Mourvedre, 4% Cinsault and 2% Counoise.  

Garnet purple colored, medium-full bodied, complex concentrated vibrant black fruits with notes of olive tapenade, black pepper and tea with hints of bitter dark mocha chocolate with dusty tannins on a lingering finish. 

RM 92 points.