Red Mountain, Washington
2012 Force Majeure Collaboration Series I $64.99 - Collaboration Series I is a Cabernet-dominant Bordeaux blend, and the winemaker is Ben Smith from Cadence, who knows a thing or two about Red Mountain fruit (his entire lineup for Cadence comes from Red Mountain). He’s working with some of the oldest (1975 and 1982-planted) blocks of Ciel du Cheval fruit here.
Wine Advocate (Jeb Dunnuck): “The 2012 Collaboration Series I is a rocking blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the balance an even split of Cab Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot. Perfumed, lifted and fresh, with notes of spring flowers, mint, graphite, liquid black cherry and raspberry-like fruit, it has full-bodied richness, solid mid-palate depth and plenty of fine tannin. It’s made by Ben Smith and shows his more classic style. Give it 2-5 years in the cellar and enjoy bottles over the following decade or more. I’m being conservative on the drink window and it will evolve for longer. Drink 2020-2030."
Force Majeure Collaboration Series V $89.99 is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the winemaker is Chris Gorman of Gorman Winery. This is always a deeply impressive example of old-vine Red Mountain Cab.
Wine Advocate (Jeb Dunnuck): “Made by Chris Gorman, the 2012 Collaboration Series V Cabernet Sauvignon Ciel du Cheval is a blockbuster. Big, bombastic, full-bodied and decadent, it still stays classy and elegant, with lively black raspberry, cassis, caramelized cherries, crushed flowers and high-class oak all emerging from the glass. Enjoy this pedal-to-the-metal Cabernet over the coming two decades. Drink 2015-2035."
2012 Force Majeure Ptera $54.99 - This is a blend of Cab and Syrah, and this one was put together by Force Majeure’s new winemaker Todd Alexander (formerly of Bryant Family Vineyard in Napa Valley).
Wine Advocate (Jeb Dunnuck): “A new wine that’s a blend of equal parts Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2012 Ptera is another sensational effort. Blueberry, black raspberry, lead pencil, violets and graphite all give way to a full-bodied, ultra-pure red that has impeccable balance, fine tannin and a great finish. Made by Todd Alexander, drink it anytime over the coming decade or more. Drink 2015-2025." 95 points