"Getting a few “wows” and expletives in the notes, the 2012 Estate Syrah is 100% of the variety and comes from the estate’s new vineyard perched high up on the upper slopes of Red Mountain. Reminding me of a young vintage of Guigal’s Cote Rotie La Turque, it exhibits sensational notes of black raspberry, graphite, cured meats, lavender and toasted spices. These all flow seamlessly to a full-bodied, dense, concentrated and pure 2012 that has building, fine tannin and a blockbuster finish. Give it 3-4 years in the cellar, and enjoy bottle through 2032.
One of the top estates in Washington, Force Majeure has had a wealth of changes over the past few years, with new estate vineyards on Red Mountain coming on line, the departure of vineyard manager and partner Ryan Johnson, the hiring of Todd Alexander (from Napa Valley's Bryant Family Vineyard) as wine maker, and the bringing on board of Helen Keplinger as a consultant, with her role primarily to assist with the blends, all taking place in the past 1-2 years. In addition, 2012 will be the last vintage where the estate has used multiple winemakers.
Going forward in 2015, all releases will be 100% estate fruit and made by Todd, with the goal to produce five wines; two Rhone blends, one Northern Rhone and one Southern Rhone blend; two Bordeaux blends, one Merlot-heavy Right Bank-style blend and one Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated Left Bank-style blend; and a Viognier.
While the full impact of all these changes has yet to be seen, the wines I was able to taste from 2013 continue to showcase the heights Washington wines can hit. While I'm sad to report 2013 will be the last release for the Collaboration Series wines, I think the future looks very bright here and I'm looking forward to seeing what the new team accomplishes here."