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 Vintage2006 Label 1 of 5 
ProducerForce Majeure (web)
VarietyRed Blend
DesignationCollaboration Series Ptera
VineyardCiel du Cheval Vineyard
SubRegionColumbia Valley
AppellationRed Mountain

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2012 and 2020 (based on 8 user opinions)

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 93.1 pts. and median of 93 pts. in 78 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by dsgris on 1/22/2016: Opened for diner and left on the counter overnight. Bold clean fruit, well balanced with acid and tannins, but the alcohol overshadowed the rest of the wine and it was just unpleasant for me to enjoy. Fortunately others were able to appreciate it and I heard no complaints. I am hoping the other bottles I have purchased over the years from this producer fare better. (387 views)
 Tasted by Brownvino on 12/1/2015 & rated 92 points: Decanted for two hours.
The wine looks garnet colored. The legs are medium. It smells like black currant (cassis), red currant and plum. It tastes like coffee, red currant and black currant (cassis). The body is medium/full. The wine has round texture. The wine finishes medium. (583 views)
 Tasted by team-blackburn on 11/22/2015 & rated 95 points: Sadly was my last bottle and it was fantastic!!! (624 views)
 Tasted by garambler on 5/2/2015 & rated 93 points: I shared this with friends on 5/2/15. It had a deep, rich bouquet of mocha, cocoa, plum, black currant, black cherry, licorice and spice aromas. The palate was rich, layered and complex with flavors that followed the nose. (951 views)
 Tasted by team-blackburn on 3/27/2015 & rated 93 points: We opened two bottles of Ptera after an 07 Caymus. My sister inlaws comment was "Holy Shit this is amazing" and Caymus is usually her favorite cab. (1163 views)
 Tasted by f22nickell on 2/10/2015 & rated 92 points: Seattle Wine Group - Feb 2015 Tasting - Theme: Riesling -- Dry & Dessert (Amaroso Room - Wine Storage Bellevue): Nose of blackberry and white pepper. Palate has dark, savory blue and black fruit, touches of black pepper, mocha, and slight bell pepper notes. Mouthfeel is smooth, not overdone. Good ,tight acidity. Medium, slightly complex finish. (1262 views)
 Tasted by Stumpy on 2/7/2015 & rated 91 points: Very nice wine and ready to drink when popped. As with most cab/ Syrah blends I found it enjoyable but lacking the interesting qualities of the varietals-maybe to me blending these two creates a very nice drinking merlot.... (936 views)
 Tasted by pdemaio on 12/18/2014 & rated 94 points: Lovely, and ready to drink. Mouth coating mocha. Long finish. (1187 views)
 Tasted by nbkat8 on 8/31/2014 & rated 91 points: Drank at an Italian Restaurant, PNP A little on the sweet side, with plum and cedar overtones - needed to open up a little. Nice finish. (1391 views)
 Tasted by dpolivy on 8/15/2014 & rated 95 points: Super elegant, silky, and balanced. Dense, dark fruit, a bit of chocolate, and some nice savory notes from the syrah. This is drinking really well right now! (1358 views)
 Tasted by Bauman on 4/22/2014 & rated 93 points: Put this on the buy list. Amazing wine for the price (1553 views)
 Tasted by RR47 on 4/4/2014 & rated 94 points: Opaque purple/black. The most expressive nose so far in 2014. Cabernet and Syrah blended 2/3 and 1/3 to give dark fruit, espresso, blended with spices, licorice, and finally a cedar note. One of those wines you just want to twirl and sniff. In the mouth, the attack is velvety at first, and gradually shifts to structured acidity and grip. Followed a 2005 Hewitt Cab with grilled steaks. (1527 views)
 Tasted by Vinsant on 3/18/2014: Let this sleep. Fairly tight and not yielding much. Did match fairly well with a rib-eye it didn't overwhelm. Some black fruit, spice, and dirt. (1646 views)
 Tasted by ChrisinSunnyside on 2/9/2014 & rated 93 points: Nose is deep black cherry and cocoa, caramel, syrah adding pepper, iron, blood, and earth notes. Palate is luxurious texture and flavors from nose follow through to a peppery finish. Syrah seems to be very obvious, maybe even dominant, at the moment. (1576 views)
 Tasted by team-blackburn on 2/4/2014 & rated 94 points: A fantastic wine!!! Great balance of fruit and tannins only a hint of oak. Wish I would have bought more. (1304 views)
 Tasted by devman on 11/22/2013 & rated 92 points: Definitely needed some air to come alive, but it was quite nice. Wasn't as food friendly as I'd like (we had this with steak at Daniel's Broiler in Bellevue), but by itself it was very complex, fragrant, flavorful and delightful. Wish I had more. (1109 views)
 Tasted by Triplet on 8/11/2013 & rated 92 points: Decanted 2 hours. beautiful soft nose of blackberry, plums, tobacco. The palate was super soft with well integrated fruit througout. Medium body and medium finish. Was getting better the longer it was in the glass. Given another couple of hours the deeper it got. (1598 views)
 Tasted by topher2411 on 7/29/2013 & rated 89 points: Some interesting exotic spices on the nose, but the fruit is overbaked and the palate simple. Medium-long finish. Not worth the money. (1422 views)
 Tasted by cpsmith33 on 6/8/2013 & rated 91 points: Opened for a few hours. Very nice bottle. Dark fruits , chocolate, flowers... Smooth and easy to drink. (1622 views)
 Tasted by AndersonWoodinvilleWines on 5/18/2013 & rated 93 points: Wonderfully balanced wine. Cedar and tobacco on the nose. Soft tannins, exquisite finish. Didn't pick up much fruit. It was more subtle and earthy. (I think we were guilty of drinking it before it fully opened. It was tasty :( ) Give this a few hours to open. (1585 views)
 Tasted by dpolivy on 4/16/2013 & rated 94 points: Wow, this has really come together since I last tasted it. Rich, super smooth, luscious body with super fine tannins and great length. Lots of violets, smoked meats, and light barrel toast on the nose. Good dense red fruit on the body, and overall it still seems quite balanced with lots of secondary flavors. (1605 views)
 Tasted by cpsmith33 on 2/9/2013 & rated 92 points: Decanted 3 hours. Very nice and enjoyable blend though I didnt get a ton of the Syrah. Powerful without being over the top. Dark fruit, chocolate and smooth palate. (1573 views)
 Tasted by ronscottf on 1/19/2013 & rated 95 points: Continues to exceed my expectations as an outstanding bottle of wine. (1642 views)
 Tasted by recotte on 10/9/2012: On initial pop and pour, I was not very excited by this; both the nose and palate were muted, although it was stunning in the glass. Re-corked and put it back in the cellar, planning on revisiting the next night. Due to events beyond my control, it was three days before I got back to this bottle, and my hopes were not high. Lo and behold, a little time with some air was exactly what this needed!

Blackberry, cassis, mocha, raspberry, hints of smoked meat... oh, this had it going on. Many cab/syrah blends have trouble finding the right balance and all of the wrong elements of each end up poking out around the edges. Not the case here. Well balanced, silky smooth on the palate, not heavy. Excellent. (2438 views)
 Tasted by smiledoc on 10/7/2012 & rated 94 points: pop and pour, loved teh blend of cab and syrah, great color, fresh fruit and intrigue on the nose, some and deep on the palate (2037 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Sean Sullivan
Washington Wine Report (9/2/2011)
(Force Majeure Ptera Red Blend Ciel du Cheval Red Mountain) Beautiful aromas of dark, dark fruit, toasty spice, mineral, licorice, and touches of aged fruit. A grippy, textured wine with soft fruit flavors where the Cabernet and Syrah play off each other beautifully. Lingers on the finish. 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Syrah. Aged in French oak (40% new). 14.5% alcohol. Approximately 160 cases produced. Ross Mickel winemaker.  **** 1/2 points
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Washington Wine Report. (manage subscription channels)

CellarTracker Wiki Articles (login to edit | view all articles)

Force Majeure

Producer website

Red Blend

Red Blend is used for any combination of red grapes that does not fit into CellarTracker's preset blends (Red Bordeaux Blend, etc). Actual blend composition for a given wine should be entered under the per wine or per wine vintage wiki articles.

Ciel du Cheval Vineyard

Ciel du Cheval (named for the wonderful views of the neighboring Horse Heaven Hills) sits further down the Red Mountain slope from Tapteil on slightly more vigorous soils. Jim Holmes has employed a fan trellis system and careful management to great effect; the wines are among the most elegant from Red Mountain without sacrificing any of the power and intensity typical of the terroir.


WineAmerica (National Association of American Wineries) | Free the Grapes!


Washington Wine Commission | Credit to Washingtonwine.org for this article

Washington Wine
Washington State is a premium wine producing region located in the northwest corner of the United States. Although a relatively young wine industry, it is now the nation's second largest wine producer and is ranked among the world's top wine regions. Washington wines are found nationally in all 50 states and internationally in more than 40 countries.

With 30,000+ acres planted, the state has ideal geography and conditions for growing premium vinifera wine grapes. Primarily grown on their own root stocks, the vines produce grapes of consistent quality, resulting in strong vintages year after year. While its focus is on Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, the region also produces a wide range of other spectacular whites and reds.

Winemakers from all over the world have chosen to establish themselves in Washington, where they can create wines reflecting this region's unique characteristics. Their hand-crafted wines are receiving wide acclaim from critics regionally, nationally and internationally for their consistently high quality. Many of them have received scores of 90 and above from the major wine media. Overall this is a higher percentage than other leading wine regions.

As the state's fourth largest fruit crop, the Washington wine industry is an important contributor to the long-term preservation of Washington agriculture. The industry is committed to sustainable agricultural practices and conservation of water resources.
Washington State is a premium wine producing region located in the northwest corner of the United States. Although a relatively young wine industry, it is now the nation's second largest wine producer and is ranked among the world's top wine regions. Washington wines are found nationally in all 50 states and internationally in more than 40 countries.

Washington produces more than 20 wine grape varieties - a ratio of 56 percent white to 44 percent red. As the industry matures and experiments, it finds many grape varieties that thrive throughout Washington's microclimates. There are more than 16,000 vineyard acres of red wine varieties statewide.

History & Vintages
Washington's wine future is limitless. As consumers discover the quality of Washington wines, demand continues to grow nationally and internationally. New acreage and wine varietals are being planted and new wineries are opening at a remarkable pace. Washington State is recognized as a premium viticultural region around the world.

State Facts
Washington's wine industry generates more than $3 billion to the state economy. It employs more than 14,000 people, directly and indirectly, with projections to add nearly 2,000 more jobs by 2006. In terms of tax revenues accrued to the state and federal government, wine grapes are among the highest tax generators of any agricultural crops. Furthermore, Washington wine tourism attracts nearly two million visitors annually contributing to the positive growth of local and regional economies.

Washington State - the perfect climate for wine = ideal growing conditions, quality wines, business innovation, lifestyle, and social responsibility. All are key elements of this world-class wine industry.

Columbia Valley

Columbia Cascade Winery Association

The Columbia Valley AVA lies mostly in Washington state, with a small section in Oregon. The Cascade Range forms its western boundary with the Palouse regions bordering the area to the east. To the north, the Okanogan National Forest forms a border with the AVA and Canada. It encompasses the valleys formed by the Columbia River and its tributaries, including the Walla Walla River, the Snake River, and the Yakima River. The Columbia valley stretches between the 46th parallel and 47th parallel which puts it in line with the well known French wine growing regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy. The northern latitude gives the areas two more hours of additional daylight during the summer growing season than wine regions of California receive. The volcanic and sandy loam soil of the valley offers good drainage and is poor in nutrients, ideal in forcing the vine to concentrate its resources into the grape clusters.

Red Mountain

WinesNW Article on Red Mountain

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