2016 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, former 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 sooner than the more ageworthy Force Majeure offerings.
Winemaker: Todd Alexander
Grapes: 62% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% 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 wine is complex and elegant, with great structure, character, and depth. It has aromas of cassis and crushed rock and notes of coffee and underbrush on the palate. It is refined and rich, with silky tannins and perfectly balanced minerality.
Availability: These wines are always very limited. The winery is now onto the 2017 vintage.
Drinkability: Drinking beautifully now, it will continue to develop over the next ten years.
Food Pairing: Red meat dishes or French bistro fare, such as pork rillettes or French onion soup.
2016 Fall Line Winery, Exhibition, $29.75
Winery info: Fall Line was established by Tim Sorenson and his wife Nancy Rivenburgh in 2004 in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle. Tim began as a “vintern” at Cadence Winery, and brought with him, great depth of experience, plus connections to some of the top vineyards in the state. Today he produces his highly regarded, classically styled wines at their new location in SoDo.
Winemaker: Tim Sorensen
Grapes: 54% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc
Vineyards: Dineen and Two Blondes (Andrew Will’s estate vineyard), both in the Yakima Valley AVA.
Flavor profile: This medium- to full-bodied wine is wonderfully layered and complex, with aromas of black currant and dried herbs, and flavors of dark fruit, spice, and a touch of cocoa powder. It is very balanced, with wonderful depth and character.
Availability: Only 70 cases made. This vintage probably won’t be around much longer.
Drinkability: Enjoy anytime over the next five years.
Food Pairing: This is a perfect wine for red meat or savory vegetable dishes.