Hello friends. Back when Force Majeure launched (actually, the winery was called Grand Reve back then, pre-trademark lawsuit), the idea was to produce the Collaboration Series of wines while waiting for the estate vineyard (planted crazily high and crazily steep towards the top of Red Mountain) to come online. The Collaboration Series combined different Washington winemakers with plots of beautiful old Ciel du Cheval Vineyard fruit, and they quickly established a rabid following, from both consumers and critics.
Well, the estate site is now fully online, and the 2013 vintage will be the final vintage for the Collaboration Series wines. After that, it’s all estate all the time. What that means for us: this is the last chance to access the CS wines in any meaningful way (I believe there’s still one more to come out next spring, perhaps the 2013 CS VI). I have a feeling that the looming end of the Collaboration Series will make allocations as challenging as ever for this fine winery.
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. This marks Ben’s tenth and final vintage making Collaboration Series I, an impressive record of consistent excellence. As usual, this is a hauntingly perfumed rendition of Ciel, with floral notes galore to go with traditional dusty Red Mountain red and black fruit. The richness of the vintage and the elegance of Ben’s winemaking style balance beautifully here. This is a fine sendoff to a lovely wine.
Collaboration Series V 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): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD] 95-97pts.”
Please limit order requests to 12 bottles total (mix and match as you like), and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wines should arrive in a week or two, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.