Mark Ryan Dead Horse Ciel du Cheval Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington
Dense aromas of red and black currants mingle with dark #oral notes and subtle minerality. Swirling the glass will coax blackberry compote and sweet vanilla. Upon the first taste, the palate is enveloped with supple, velvety black cherry wrapped in layers of black currant, mineral and spice. The finish is seamless, carrying soft, ripe tannin and fresh acidity.
The Wine Advocate - "More firm, concentrated and structured, the 2011 Dead Horse is Mark’s Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend and checks in as 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, all from Red Mountain. Aged for 21 months in 72% new French oak, it’s slightly brooding and backwards with black fruits, smoked earth, coffee bean and spice box aromas and flavors as showing with some aggressive swirling. Medium to full-bodied, fresh, beautifully balanced and with big minerality on the finish, it’s a serious Washington blend that will reward 2-4 years in the cellar and have 15-20 years of ultimate longevity.
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 Washington
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.