Of all the winery visits on my recent Walla Walla field trip, one stood out beforehand as the one I was most eager about and one stood out after as I shook my head in disbelief at the insanely delicious reds I had just tasted. If you’ve followed our Cabernet and Syrah write-ups for the past couple years, you’ve read about Force Majeure and that's who I'm talking about.
I can try quantifying the experience with scores (not mine, since I don’t give them): the newest achievement for Force Majeure is their 100-point Walla Walla Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 and it doesn't get better than perfect. But that score is just the beginning of the conversation.
As I tasted through the 2019s I was giddy. Like that kid-in-the-candy-store giddy that I’ve felt at the best moments of my wine career these last 17 years. Part of what makes me so giddy is that while we wait for the Force Majeure flagship wines to release next year, we get to dive head-first into the liquid candy store of these two f-ing incredible wines: Parabellum Coulee and Alluvio.
The Parabellum pair comes from the same estate vineyards on Red Mountain and Walla Walla that produce Force Majeure’s namesake Cabernet, Syrah, and blends, including the vineyard next to the winery which produced the 100 point Cab. So while we wait and let me translate–make space and allocate funds accordingly–for the Force Majeure big boys to be released next year, it’s time for some plain talk.
This is what wine stardom tastes like. No one in the Northwest is making better bold red wines than Force Majeure's Todd Alexander and the Parabellum pair is an exceptional entry point to his style and quality. When I'm 100% on board with a winery it’s my job to advise you to do the same. Get on board.
$39.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($44.95 regular)
Whether you think of this as a Syrah (it's 76%) or a Syrah-based blend, think of it as a gorgeous bottle of wine that I'd be nuts not to recommend you buy. What struck me most was the seamless, melty texture and feel which carry you from deep black fruits to savory Syrah accents, from power and depth to brightness and elegance, all with ease.
76% Syrah, 11% Grenache, 7% Mourvedre and little Cinsault and Counoise for good measure.
$49.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($54.95 regular)
The best vintage of Alluvio yet and the most universally appealing, the blend works so harmoniously to marry rich Cabernet black fruits with velvety Merlot red fruits. Like the Coulee, the texture is mind-melting and creamy–it would be enough if it stopped there but no, give me tobacco, warm earth, and graphite accents and you've made me an even bigger fan.
38% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot.
Both Parabellum wines arrive in sufficient quantities the first week of September!