Red Mountain Estate Épinette Blend 2017
Épinette is a 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 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.
Estate managed from steep, rocky slopes at high elevations (960-1,230 feet). The Bordeaux varietals are grown on lower parts here, with high amounts of loess providing drainage before the dense bedrock of basalt. West/Southwest exposure, all harvest done manually.
Fermented in concrete and stainless steel with free-run juice. Aged in 60% new French oak for 22 months. 53% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot
“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.” – Stephen Tanzer, Vinous
Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot
Suggested Retail Price
Jeb Dunnuck - December 21, 2022
"Billed as the estate’s Right Bank blend, the 2017 Epinette is all estate and 53% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot. It’s a rich, powerful, Château Pavie-like wine that has classic Red Mountain minerality as well as notes of blackcurrants, chocolate, violets, sagebrush, and white truffles. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and beautifully concentrated, with building tannins..." -J.D 4/2020
Vinous - December 21, 2022
"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.." -ST 10/2018
Other Wines by this Producer
Made utilizing meticulously farmed grapes from the estate vineyards on Red Mountain and in the Walla Walla Valley, these wines receive the same care and attention in both winemaking and viticulture as the upper-tier Force Majeure wines. The goal with Parabellum is to produce beautiful and approachable wines that are reflective of their varieties and terroir, without constraints on blending. Parabellum provides an opportunity to savor an authentic wine of distinction at a great value.
Force Majeure’s Cabernet Sauvignon is a powerful but elegant, full-bodied wine that is grown primarily along the southwest ridge of their estate vineyard, in soils that are deep and loamy but contain many small rocks of fractured basalt, concreted ash and granite from Missoula flood erratics. Coming from 14 year old vines that produce small berries with lots of power and concentration. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.