Mark Ryan Dead Horse Ciel du Cheval Vineyard 2009
Bordeaux Red Blends from Washington
Inspired by the great left-bank blends of Bordeaux, Dead Horse is a Cabernet Sauvignon-driven wine supported by Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. The 2009 Dead Horse is a testament to a beautiful vintage and the incredible work done in vineyards. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot show the power of this vintage, while the Merlot and Cabernet France lend balance and refinement. Each lot was fermented separately in 1.5-ton fermenters from between 12 and18 days. Then the wines were gently pressed to barrel where malolactic fermentation was completed. The wine was racked only twice prior to bottling and is unfined and unfiltered.
Aromas of blackberry, violet, and raspberry combine with layers of tealeaf, tobacco, bramble, mint, cracked black pepper and clove. The palate is rich and supple with elements of cocoa and vanilla bean. The texture is refined with elegant tannins.
Wine Spectator - "The Mark Ryan 2009 Dead Horse blends with its Cabernet Sauvignon 15% Cabernet Franc, 11% Malbec, 8% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot, enlisting four-year-old vines in as yet little-known but superbly-situated Obelisco Vineyard to supplement fruit from its tongue-in-cheek namesake (Ciel du Cheval) and Klipsun. Cassis, cedar, and dark tobacco inform the nose as well as a palpably dense, subtly chewy and vivaciously juicy palate. A briny, mineral and at the same time sweetly savory suggestion of anchovy paste adds irresistibly saliva-inducing savor to the long finish of this impeccably balanced bottling..."
Wine Enthusiast - "This Bordeaux-style blend is Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated, showing vivid red fruits, with drying, somewhat leafy tannins. It has an earthy foundation and impressive length, it just needs more bottle age to fully integrate its flavors. Cellar Selection."
Mark Ryan Winery
Mark Ryan McNeilly founded Mark Ryan Winery in 1999 with the goal of making the best wines in Washington State. Largely self-taught, Mark honed the craft of winemaking through rigorous study and the welcomed advice of some of the area's most experienced producers.
Over a decade later, Mark Ryan Winery has grown in size, earned acclaim from wine-lovers and critics alike, and garnered respect from the state's elite producers. The goal, however, remains the same. Make delicious wines that represent the vineyard from which they come, making every vintage better than the last. View all Mark Ryan Wines
About Other WashingtonView a map of Other Washington wineries
A few other appellations in Washington include:
Puget Sound, which grows some lesser-known grapes like Muller-Thurgau and Madeleine Angevine, is less known for quality wines and better liked for being a tourist attraction.
Red Mountainsub-appellation runs along the eastern part of Yakima Valley. It's best for red varietals and is constantly growing in quality and popularity.
About WashingtonRelated Links:Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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