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Review: Wines of Mark Ryan Winery, 2018 Releases

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We’ve covered Mark Ryan’s wines a few times in the past. Today’s review looks at the Washington-based operation’s mainstream releases — chardonnay, merlot, and cabernet — from 2018’s bottlings.

2017 Mark Ryan Winery Chardonnay Olson Vineyard Yakima Valley – About as California as it gets, only it’s from Washington. Oak and buttery vanilla blend to give this wine a certain sweetness, but the rather lean body sees some grapefruit and thyme elements melding uncomfortably with the traditional goings-on. B / $40

2016 Mark Ryan Winery Long Haul Merlot Columbia Valley – 80% merlot, 9% cabernet franc, 8% cabernet sauvignon, 3% petit verdot. Incredibly sweet, with an edge of tobacco, but overwhelmed by fresh, juicy berries, with hints of violets and some cinnamon-infused Mexican chocolate tempering the fruit, at least a bit. Extracted and surprisingly heavy, and just too focused on its sweeter elements. B / $55

2016 Mark Ryan Winery Dead Horse Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain – The big winner in this group. This is a bold but satiny cabernet (blended with 4% merlot, 3% cabernet franc, and 2% petit verdot), loaded with currants, black and red berries, touches of tree bark and leather, pencil lead, and vanilla, before light tannins take over, giving the finish some real grip. Lots going on here, but there’s a remarkable balance that gives the wine some needed seriousness and austerity. A- / $58

markryanwinery.com

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Reviewed Item
2016 Mark Ryan Winery Dead Horse Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain
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Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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