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Force Majeure Epinette
Force Majeure Vineyards
United States - Washington - Red Mountain

Epinette is Force Majeure's Right-bank Bordeaux-inspired blend, and was named after an avenue in Libourne (France) that leads to Pomerol and Saint-Émilion, the home of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Epinette is also the name of a musical instrument akin to a piano, as well as a word for pine tree, which is a fitting nod to their home in Washington state.
The wine itself is a blend of primarily Merlot and Cabernet Franc, with smaller amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot, proportions of which change depending on the vintage. The Merlot and Cabernet Franc are grown in lower areas of the vineyard with deep, well-drained soils, much less rocky than the soils of our Rhone varietals.

Specifications
Appellation
Red Mountain
Wine Type
Red
Varietal(s)
46% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot (2016) / 55% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon,16% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot (2017)
Soil type
Deep, well-drained soils
Vinification
Fermented in concrete and stainless closed top tanks.
Aging 22 months in 60% new French oak
Native yeast, 3-5 day cold soaks, up to 25 day macerations.
Merlot and Franc received more punch-downs while Cabernet received more pumpovers.
100% free run
Production
372 (9-liter cases)

Reviews and News

2017 Force Majeure Epinette - 93 PTS - VINOUS

2017 Force Majeure Epinette - 93 PTS - VINOUS

vinous logo"Saturated bright medium ruby. Pungent scents of blackberry, cassis, licorice, minerals, graphite and bitter chocolate, with a hint of violet lift. Then plush, savory and deep in the mouth, with the Merlot creaminess to the fore. Very broad, concentrated flavors of dark berries and graphite minerality saturate the palate and blow past the wine's substantial, dusty but fine-grained tannins on the long back end. This big boy maintains its shape, no doubt partly due to the firming influence of its Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot components. This highly successful Right Bank blend shows more of a Pomerol than a Saint-Emilion plushness of texture, supported by solid tannic structure. - Stephen Tanzer"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (December 2019), 93 pts

2016 Force Majeure Epinette - 96+ pts - JD

2016 Force Majeure Epinette - 96+ pts - JD

jeb dunnuck logo 250"I loved the 2016 Epinette from barrel, and it certainly doesn't disappoint from bottle. Sporting a deep purple color as well as a huge bouquet of blackcurrants, black cherries, smoked earth, chocolate, and cedary spice, this flamboyant, powerful beauty hits the palate with loads of fruit, has sweet tannins, no hard edges, building tannins, and a huge finish. It's one seriously pleasure-bent effort that has another 10-15 years of prime drinking."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2019), 96+ pts

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2016 Force Majeure Epinette - 94 pts - VINOUS

2016 Force Majeure Epinette - 94 pts - VINOUS

vinous logo"Dark full ruby. Violet lift to the aromas of blackberry, black raspberry, licorice, subtle peppery herbs and minerals. Wonderfully plush but youthfully unevolved, conveying a smoother texture and more class than the Cabernet, as well as a deeper kernel of primary fruit despite the fact that this is a Bordeaux blend and not a varietal Cabernet Sauvignon. A bit less thick and overwhelming than the Cabernet, and more complex and delineated. Finishes with big tongue- and tooth-saturating tannins that are a bit more suave than those of the Cabernet. - Stephen Tanzer"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2018), 94 pts

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Producer Information: Force Majeure Vineyards

Force Majeure is an ultra-premium winery located in the Walla Walla Valley, specializing in estate-grown, single-vineyard Bordeaux and Rhône-inspired wines. Their wines are meticulously crafted by former Bryant Family Vineyard ...
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