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Force Majeure Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Cabernet Sauvignon from Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP93
  • WE92
  • WS91
0% ABV
  • RP96
  • WS91
  • RP95
  • RP95
  • WE92
  • WS90
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Winemaker Notes

Our estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a powerful but elegant, full-bodied wine that is grown primarily along the southwest ridge of our vineyard, in soils that are deep and loamy but contain many small rocks of fractured basalt, concreted ash and even some granite from Missoula flood erratics. The vines produce small berries with bountiful flavor, concentration and intensity, but also a good degree of finesse, excellent structure and layers of complexity that will continue to develop during extended bottle aging for those who want to cellar and age their wines.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A classic Washington State Cabernet, the 2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a medium to full-bodied, elegant and vibrant effort that offers lots of violets, cassis, and spring flower-like aromas and flavors. It shows more classic lead pencil aromas and flavors with time in the glass, has a polished, streamlined profile, building tannin, and will keep for two decades.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Cabernet's signature herb aromas are on full display, riding high above notes of mineral, licorice, barrel spices and dark fruit. The black-fruit flavors are tart, layered and velvety in feel, surrounded by firm tannins that need time in the cellar to unwind. It has the legs to go the distance. Best after 2022. Cellar Selection
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Broad and expressive, with cherry, herb, cocoa and spice flavors that play against well-buffed tannins, gliding into a long finish. Drink now through 2023.
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Force Majeure

Force Majeure

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Force Majeure, Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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It is both passion and obsessive attention to detail that push Force Majeure to raise the standard for Washington winegrowing. Inspired by the vineyards of Bordeaux, Hermitage, Priorat, and Cote Rotie, we challenged existing viticultural practices and embarked on an ambitious plan to pioneer the very first vineyard on the steep, upper slopes of Red Mountain.

This Herculean effort involved the careful matching of varietal and clonal selections, trellising and irrigation to the nine distinct soil types formed by the ancient Missoula floods, winds and volcanic activity. The outcome is a vineyard articulated into many small "micro-blocks," to meet the management demands of this unique and dynamic site. Due to the rough, rocky nature of the acreage and elevations ranging from 960 to 1,230 feet, mechanization is virtually impossible in the upper portion of Force Majeure, requiring true "farming by hand." Yet the lower blocks of the vineyard are comprised of deep, well-drained Warden soils.

Thus, the diversity of our vineyard results in a versatility that allows us to grow a variety of compelling fruit characterized by stunning intensity, depth and concentration, complex flavors and fine tannins. We nurture a variety of Bordeaux and Rhone varietals at this special site and look forward to sharing, quite literally, the "fruits of our labor" with you.

Red Mountain

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A coveted source of top quality red grapes among premier Washington producers, the Red Mountain AVA is actually the smallest appellation in the state. As its name might suggest, it is actually neither a mountain nor is it composed of red earth. Instead the appellation is an anticline of the Yakima fold belt, a series of geologic folds that define a number of viticultural regions in the surrounding area. It is on the eastern edge of Yakima Valley with slopes facing southwest towards the Yakima River, ideal for the ripening of grapes. The area’s springtime proliferation of cheatgrass, which has a reddish color, actually gives the area the name, "Red" Mountain.

Red Mountain produces some of the most mineral-driven, tannic and age-worthy red wines of Washington and there are a few reasons for this. It is just about the hottest appellation with normal growing season temperatures commonly reaching above 90F. The soil is particularly poor in nutrients and has a high pH, which results in significantly smaller berry sizes compared to varietal norms. The low juice to skin ratio in smaller berries combined with the strong, dry summer winds, leads to higher tannin levels in Red Mountain grapes.

The most common red grape varieties here are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, among others. Limited white varieties are grown, namely Sauvignon blanc.

The reds of the area tend to express dark black and blue fruit, deep concentration, complex textures, high levels of tannins and as previously noted, have good aging capabilities.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

YNG771523_2013 Item# 204937