Tag Archives: Mark Ryan Winery

What we’re drinking: Mark Ryan Winery Dead Horse

Brynn writes:

What a name for a wine, right? Normally I would think a wine labeled “Dead Horse” would be a turn off for many wine drinkers, but then I tried it.

As promised from an earlier post, this wine was my favorite of the day from my recent visit to the Mark Ryan Winery tasting room in Woodinville. My three friends agreed, Dead Horse had our vote for favorite Mark Ryan wine of the day.

This, along with his Long Haul, which I reviewed previously, is a Bordeaux blend. But unlike the Long Haul, which was merlot dominant right bank blend, this one is a cab heavy blend, meaning it represents the left bank of the Bordeaux region.

This was the last wine we tasted at Mark Ryan and clearly they saved the best for last (and also the most expensive). The nose was rich, the color deep and the hints of vanilla from time spent on oak smoothed out the tannins on the finish of this wine.

Here’s what the winery says about its Dead Horse:

Tasting notes:

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.

Best from 2012 through 2018.

Vineyard Source:

  • Klipsun Vineyard, Red Mountain
  • Ciel du Chaval Vineyard, Red Mountain


  • 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 15 percemt Cabernet Franc
  • 11 percent Malbec
  • 8 percent Merlot
  • 6 percent Petit Verdot

Alcohol: 14.7 percent

Release Date: November 18, 2011

Production: 850 Cases

Price: $52

What we’re drinking: Mark Ryan Long Haul

Brynn writes:

Earlier this month I was invited to a surprise birthday party for my friend Kyle. Last year Kyle was 8 months pregnant for her birthday, so needless to say she didn’t feel much like celebrating the departure from her 20s to her 30s.

This year however her husband wanted to make sure she had a great day, so he organized an outing months in advance to make sure Kyle not only made up for missing her big 30th celebration, but also entered her 31st year in style.

We started the day by surprising Kyle on her doorstep and were whisked away by our own personal chauffeur — her husband — in a Cadillac rented for the day’s transportation. On our agenda for the day: lunch at The Purple Cafe and Wine Bar in Woodinville, followed by stops at some of Kyle’s favorite wineries.

First up was Mark Ryan Winery, a boutique winery located across the parking lot from the Hollywood Schoolhouse. Apparently everyone else who was in Woodinville to celebrate and taste wine also had Mark Ryan on their lists, because the cozy tasting room became packed shortly after we arrived. But that was fine with us, we were easily able to get through the five wines they poured and still enjoy great conversation.

While I wasn’t drinking, I did accept the pour, took two tiny sips then poured the rest of my glass into Kyle’s stemware.

Like I said, we tried five wines while there, but I’m only highlighting one of those today — don’t worry I’ll write about our absolute favorite wine tasted at Mark Ryan next time.

One of the wines that stood out to my palate was the 2009 Long Haul, winemaker Mike MacMorran’s take on a right bank Bordeaux blend. As we recently wrote, Merlot is the dominant grape along the right bank in Bordeaux. The breakdown of the 2009 Long Haul is 64 percent Merlot, 27 percent Cabernet Franc, 8 percent Malbec and 1percent Petit Verdot.

Here’s what the winery has to say about this wine:

Vineyard source: Klipsun Vineyard, Red Mountain; Ciel du Cheval Vineyard, Red Mountain; Kiona Vineyard, Red Mountain

Tasting notes: Black cherry, Italian plum, clove and toasted oak. Non-fruit aromas of cracked black pepper, red meat, tomato leaf, brined olives and cigar box. The palate is lush, filled with vanilla and mocha. The texture is bold with impressive structure and great length.

Best 2012 through 2017.

The wine is priced at $48 (leave it to me to like the expensive stuff). Only 550 cases were produced.