2015 Force Majeure, Parabellum Alluvio, $60
Winery info: Force Majeure is an ultra-premium winery in Woodinville specializing in estate-grown, single-vineyard Bordeaux- and Rhône-inspired wines. Todd Alexander, formerly winemaker at Napa’s highly-acclaimed Bryant Family Vineyard, was brought on as winemaker in 2014. Parabellum is Force Majeure’s “second wine,” produced from younger blocks of their estate vineyard and made to be ready to drink when younger than the more ageworthy Force Majeure offerings.
Winemaker: Todd Alexander
Grapes: 54% Cabernet Franc, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot
Vineyard source: Force Majeure’s estate vineyard on the steep upper slopes of Red Mountain. The site is divided into a number of small “micro-blocks” in order to maximize the blending potential of the unique terroir.
Flavor profile: A stunning intro to the quality and style of Force Majeure wines, this blend is full-bodied and ample, with gorgeous structure, character, and depth. The flavors of blackcurrant and crushed rock are balanced by the minerality and texture of this Bordeaux-inspired red.
Production/Availability: Only 300 cases, so it won’t be around long.
Drinkability: Drinking beautifully now, it will continue to develop over the next ten years.
Food Pairing: Todd and Carrie suggest red meat dishes or French bistro fare, such as pork rillettes, or French onion soup.
2016 Kerloo Cellars, Majestic, $28
Winery info: Founded in 2007 by Ryan Crane, who got his winemaking start as a volunteer at ANIMALE, and later worked at Forgeron and VaPiano. Today he is based in SoDo, where he produces small amounts of mostly Rhône-inspired wines, though he works with other styles as well. The Wine Enthusiast recently featured him as one of four Washington Game-Changing Winemakers who are “altering the landscape of northwest wine.”
Winemaker: Ryan Crane
Grapes: 74% Grenache, 21% Mourvèdre, 5% Syrah
Vineyard source: Grenache: Lonesome Springs Ranch, Upland, and Art Den Hoed vineyards; Mourvèdre: Lonesome Springs Ranch and Painted Hills vineyards; Syrah: Upland Vineyard.
Flavor profile: The high elevation of the vineyard sites (up to 1,450 feet) produces fruit with great depth and concentration. This Grenache-based wine is medium bodied, with aromas of wild herbs and flavors of dark fruit and spice. Very balanced and elegant, with a long, juicy finish.
Production/Availability: 432 cases produced, so it is somewhat limited.
Drinkability: Now, or through 2022.
Food Pairing: Try it with roasted pork loin.