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Mark Ryan Dead Horse 2012
Wine Advocate 94-96 points: "Much more rich and voluptuous, the Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Dead Horse Ciel du Cheval Vineyard boasts knockout aromas and flavors of blueberries, blackberries, licorice, spring flowers and toast to go with a full-bodied, rich and structured profile on the palate. Despite all of the richness here, this puppy stays nicely focused, has superb purity of fruit and notable tannin that frame the finish. It-s another effort that will benefit from 4 to 5 years of cellaring and have over two decades of longevity." - Jeb Dunnuck
The 2012 DeadHorse is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot.
Exceptional, and one of our favorite Washington red wines, since the very beginning.
Previous vintage notes: Wine Advocate 93-95 points: More firm, concentrated and structured, the 2011 Dead Horse is Markís 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, itís 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, itís a serious Washington blend that will reward 2-4 years in the cellar and have 15-20 years of ultimate longevity. Drink 2015-2031.
2010 vintage, Wine Advocate 94 Points
...classic Cabernet Sauvignon on the nose and palate, the 2010 Dead Horse is made from 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and the balance Malbec and Petit Verdot. Seeing 21 months in 78% new French oak, it has integrated its oak elevage brilliantly and delivers black currant, tobacco, pencil shavings, violet and wild herb qualities that flow to a full-bodied, concentrated and seamlessly textured 2010 that has juicy acidity, excellent mid-palate concentration and masses of finely polished tannin on the finish. Give it 3-4 years and enjoy over the following 15+ years or more. Drink 2016-2030.
An estate thatís getting up into the creme de la creme of Washington State producers, Mark Ryan Winery was founded by Mark Ryan McNeilly in 1999. Mark now gets assistance in the winemaking from the talented Mike MacMorran (of Manu Propria and Force Majeure), and the wines have overall classical profiles, with bright acidity and tannin, that never lack for fruit or depth. If you havenít tried these wines, now is great time to check them out. - Wine Advocate
Mark Ryan Winery's Dead Horse Red is their most beloved and critically acclaimed wine. 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot. Made from Klipsun, Ciel du Cheval, Obelisco, and Red Willow Vineyard.
The flagship of the Mark Ryan line-up and always my favorite, owing to the Cabernet backbone and Petit Verdot. Deep black fruits laced with red cherries, espresso, graphite, and a touch of spiced vanilla. I highly recommend it. - Marcus
2010 Wine Spectator - 91 points - Broad and spicy, with a layer of prickly tannins wound around a generous core of currant and blackberry fruit, hinting at bay leaf as the finish lingers expressively. Best from 2015 through 2020. - H.S.
This Cabernet Sauvignon dominated blend is a rich and full powerhouse, yet still manages to convey a nuance and elegance. The Red Mountain terroir absolutely shines through the layers of deep blackberry and cherry fruit, and as the wine unfolds, so does the beautiful undercurrent of graphite, leather and spice. This is a wine that will surely reward those patient enough to cellar, and delicious now to enjoy decanted.
Mark Ryan's Dead Horse has intense 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. - the winery
Smoking! The unanimous winner of the new 08's, the Dead Horse kicks it with alluring, creamy, vanilla-mocha shaded black fruit. 62% Cab, 15% Cab Franc, 12% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec. You could decant this and down a bottle, but it'll be better after another 2+ years. - Avalon
The 2008 Dead Horse was an Avalon Wine Club Selection - 15% off for Wine Club Members
Wine Spectator 93 Points: "Focused, generous and complex, not especially dense but brimming with cherry, cinnamon, clove and coffee flavors that persist unperturbed by fine tannins as the finish keeps rolling. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Best from 2012 through 2020." - H.S.
Massive wine with loads of personality - licorice, sweet oak, cassis, and milk chocolate with crystalized ginger. The palate largely follows the nose, has loads of freshness and structured tannins, with black fruit, cedar and tobacco carrying the finish. Yummy now, but certainly ageable. - Adrienne
Made from 100% Ciel du Cheval Vineyard fruit. Massive. Black fruit, bittersweet chocolate, saddle leather, cassis, plum, cigar smoke, pain grille. 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot.
A complex, fragrant nose with rosehips, abundant dried flowers, and a light herbal element. Tighter than a drum on a taste packed with tannins and intensity. A big, dry, powerful wine with lots of fruit that persists through a long finish. The alcohol gets in the way a bit at times but overall this wine delivers. Give 2 years or decant extensively. 67% Cabernet; 13% Merlot; 13% Cab Franc; 7% Petit Verdot. 100% New French Oak (Saury, Sylvan, Taransaud, Quintessence). 14.7% alcohol. 651 cases produced. - WA Wine Report
2006 tasting notes
The nose erupts with sweet blackberries cherries, followed by nuances of baking spice. The supple but powerful entry bursts with huge blackberry, cassis, and cherry fruit, showing exceptional purity. Notes of leather, dark flowers, and pepper appear on the finish along with persistent sweet black fruit. There's an elegance rarely found in such a big wine; the oak is perfectly integrated. We all like bold wines now and then, so decant and drink your first bottle now and stash the rest away for the next decade.
The Dead Horse is our favorite Mark Ryan wine several years running. Wine critics seem to agree, and with a Wine Spectator score of 90 points for the 2005, we're sure the 2006 Dead Horse won't be galloping for long!
Our most beloved and critically acclaimed wine is back for it's seventh vintage! We work tediously every year to make sure that the refinement, polish and quality of our wines only gets better and better. We think you long time lovers of Dead Horse will find this to be very evident in our newest release! Our Cabernet Sauvignon dominated blend is a rich and full powerhouse, yet still manages to convey a nuance and elegance rare in a wine of this magnitude. The Red Mountain terroir absolutely shines through the layers of deep blackberry and cherry fruit, and as the wine unfolds, so does the beautiful undercurrent of graphite, leather and spice. This is a wine that will surely reward those patient enough to cellar, and delicious now to enjoy decanted. - the winery
52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Cabernet Franc, 17% Merlot & 7% Petit Verdot
Whoa Nelly! The biggest of Mark's 2005 wines opens slowly to aromas toasty sweet black and Bing cherries, buttery coffee bean, baking spices, cassis, tar, cocoa powder, and black plum. The flavors are giant, with ripe black cherry, plum, and black currant, toasted espresso bean, and licorice. In time, the fine grained Red Mountain tannins soften to reveal and powerful yet supple Washington blockbuster. Balanced by a lively acidity and big fruit, 2005 Dead Horse will definitely cellar well for years to come--four days after opening, the wine evolved into a lush, magnificent Bordeaux style red.
Ciel du Cheval Vineyard fruit from Red Mountain: 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 13% Merlot, and 6% Petit Verdot.
Black cherry, licorice, smoke in expressive Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Cabernet dominant red blend. Order now, ships in late October/early November.
Seattle Times, Sept 12, 2006: "This wine somewhat inverts the Long Haul, with Cabernet dominant rather than Merlot. It is the most compact, vertical and indecipherable of the Mark Ryan wines, and the most potentially expressive of the magnificent Ciel du Cheval fruit. Black cherry, licorice, smoke and graphite add layers of darkness - a veritable Joseph Conrad wine - and it will require more age to reveal all of its secrets. Also slated for November release."
From the winery: "Dead Horse is Left Bank Bordeaux in style and is made entirely from Ciel du Cheval Vineyard grapes. This wine is called Dead Horse because the vineyard name loosely translated in french is Horse Heaven. I believe Ciel du Cheval to be one of best vineyard sites in Washington. Consistently, Ciel du Cheval is one of the warmest vineyards in the state and this allows for big, ripe, elgant wines with great structure, balance and complexity. NO HORSES WERE HURT DURING THE PRODUCTION OF THIS WINE AND IT WAS TESTED ON HUMANS!