Force Majeure Vineyards
A brief history
Meet The Winemakers
Todd’s passion lies in crafting terroir-driven wines that showcase the unique characteristics of specific sites through uncompromising, meticulous work in both the vineyard and winery. Prior to his arrival in the Pacific Northwest, Todd was most recently Winemaker for acclaimed “cult” winery Bryant Family Vineyard in the Napa Valley. At Bryant, he worked closely with some of the very best and brightest in the wine industry, including legendary vineyard manager David Abreu and famous winemaking consultant Michel Rolland. In 2014, Todd came to the Pacific Northwest with the goal of applying his skills and talents toward pushing the envelope of winemaking in Washington and Oregon, to continue his endeavor of crafting truly world-class wines from estate vineyards.View More
Force Majeure Vineyards Wines
The Force Majeure estate Syrah is cultivated in a combination of the 8 soil types that exist in our vineyard, with most of it being planted in very steep, very rocky locations, but some also planted in deeper, loamier soils. Fermentation takes place after cold soak in a combination of concrete and stainless steel vats, with some lots in the final blend seeing extended maceration and co-fermentation with Viognier also grown on our site. Élevage is carried out in a combination of new and used French oak barrels and puncheons for +/- 18 months, and the wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered. The estate Syrah typically exhibits a broad spectrum of black, blue and red fruits, dried herbs and jasmine, fennel, smoked meats and crushed rock along with very fine tannins, great length, balance and complexity.
Parvata means “mountain” in sanskrit, and is the name for our southern Rhône-inspired blend, grown mostly in the sandy, loamy soils of the lower section of our Red Mountain vineyard, which bring to the wine a good degree of finesse and high-toned aromatic notes, white pepper, dried herbs and grapefruit peel. Fermented after cold soak in concrete vats, it receives a gentle extraction before being barreled down to spend approximately 18 months in a small percentage of new French oak, utilizing both large format puncheons and barrels. The blend will change each year and will eventually be driven by Grenache as more of our plantings come into production. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Our estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a powerful but elegant, full-bodied wine that is grown primarily along the southwest ridge of our vineyard, in soils that are deep and loamy but contain many small rocks of fractured basalt, concreted ash and even some granite from Missoula flood erratics. The vines produce small berries with bountiful flavor, concentration and intensity, but also a good degree of finesse, excellent structure and layers of complexity that will continue to develop during extended bottle aging for those who want to cellar and age their wines. This wine spends approximately 22 months in 95% new French oak after a long, warm fermentation and extended skin contact on certain lots. We are expanding our Cabernet Sauvignon plantings to add new dimensions to this already gorgeous and serious wine. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Épinette is our Right-bank Bordeaux-inspired blend, and was named after an avenue in Libourne that leads to Pomerol and Saint-Émilion, the home of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Épinette 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 our 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 our vineyard with deep, well-drained soils, much less rocky than the soils of our Rhone varietals. Before bottling, this wine evolves for approximately 22 months in mostly new French oak, after a long maceration and fermentation in concrete and stainless steel vats. This wine, along with our Cabernet Sauvignon, should age exceptionally well.