Mark Ryan The Dissident 2018
Blend: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the 2018 The Dissident has crunchy black fruits as well as notes of chocolate, tobacco, and earthy goodness. Medium to full-bodied on the palate, it has a slightly streamlined style, but it’s purity is beautiful.
Cabernet Sauvignon (71%) and Merlot (21%) are the heart of this wine, with the rest bits of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The aromas are pulled back, with notes of dried leaf, raspberry, bittersweet chocolate and cherry. The palate is rich, flavorful, focused, layered and lengthy. There’s plenty of enjoyment to be had.
Notes of blackberries, grilled herbs, coffee and cloves. Full-bodied with chewy tannins. Fleshy and textured with structure. A blend of 70% cabernet sauvignon, 21% merlot, 7% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot. Drink or hold.
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.
A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington state’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA even extends into northern Oregon!
Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.
Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.
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. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.