Mark Ryan Long Haul 2011 Front Label
Mark Ryan Long Haul 2011 Front LabelMark Ryan Long Haul 2011 Front Bottle ShotMark Ryan Long Haul 2011 Back Bottle Shot

Mark Ryan Long Haul 2011

  • RP94
  • WS91
750ML / 14.9% ABV
Other Vintages
  • JD93
  • JS90
  • JD94
  • RP91
  • WS90
  • RP92
  • W&S92
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750ML / 14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Dark ruby in color and showcasing carefully achieved clarity, this wine might best characterize the singularity of Red Mountain terroir. Balancing the site's muscularity is the fresh red cherry and fleshy plum dusted in baking spices. Aromas of rose petals and violets deepen with a swirl of the glass. On the palate the wine offers rich, velvety texture and sumptuous black fruits with perfectly balanced structure. The tannins are ripe and soft, giving length to finish with fresh acidity.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A step up and comprised mostly of Merlot, but with 13% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Petit Verdot as well, the 2011 Long Haul is a big, rich effort that will need a handful of years to come together. Aged 21 months in 73% new French oak and showing notions of red plum, currants, cedar, spice and sweet oak on the nose, it has a medium to full-bodied, rich and layered mouthfeel.
92-94 points
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Firm in texture, but the grippy tannins play well with the ripe, gently herbal cherry and clotted cream flavors, which persist on a medium-weight frame. Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.
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Mark Ryan

Mark Ryan

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Mark Ryan, Washington
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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.

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An important winegrowing state increasingly recognized for its high-quality reds and whites, Washington ranks second in production in the U.S. after California. Washington wines continue to gain well-deserved popularity as they garner higher and higher praise from critics and consumers alike.

Washington winemakers draw inspiration mainly from Napa Valley, Bordeaux and the Rhône as well as increasingly from other regions like Spain and Italy. Most viticulture takes place on the eastern side of the state—an arid desert in the rain shadow of the Cascade mountains. Irrigation is made possible by the Columbia River. Temperatures are extreme, with hot and dry summers and cold winters, during which frost can be a risk.

Washington’s wine industry was initially built on Merlot, which remains an important variety to this day, despite having been overtaken in acreage planted by Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Bordeaux blends and Rhône blends are common as well as single varietal bottlings. Washington reds tend to express a real purity of concentrated fruit. The best examples have a bold richness, seamless texture, plush or powdery tannins and flavors such as licorice, herb, forest floor, espresso and dark chocolate.

In terms of white wine, Riesling is the state’s major success story, producing crisp, aromatic examples with plenty of stone fruit that range from bone dry to lusciously sweet. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc perform nicely here as well, and Viognier is beginning to pick up steam.

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

WBO301032996_2011 Item# 127073

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