2009 Mark Ryan Winery "Dead Horse-Ciel du Cheval Vineyard" Red Mountain
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Mark Ryan 2009 Dead Horse blends with its Cabernet Sauvignon 15% Cabernet Franc, 11% Malbec, 8% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot, enlisting four-year-old vines in as yet little-known but superbly-situated Obelisco Vineyard to supplement fruit from its tongue-in-cheek namesake (Ciel du Cheval) and Klipsun. Cassis, cedar, and dark tobacco inform the nose as well as a palpably dense, subtly chewy and vivaciously juicy palate. A briny, mineral and at the same time sweetly savory suggestion of anchovy paste adds irresistibly saliva-inducing savor to the long finish of this impeccably balanced bottling that ought to be worth following for at least ten or a dozen years.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(60% cabernet sauvignon, 15% cabernet franc, 11% malbec, 8% merlot and 6% petit verdot): Bright full ruby. Fresh aromas of cassis, blackberry, licorice pastille and violet. Sweet and fat but also juicy and harmonious, with big mid-palate flavors of blueberry, licorice pastille and chocolate nicely framed by ripe acidity. A step beyond the Long Haul in sheer size, length and chewy, toothcoating tannins.
Firm in texture, with fine tannins around a plush core of cherry and guava, showing a grenadine hint as the finish sails on nicely. This has a refreshing quality. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2016.
The 2009 "Dead Horse - Ciel du Cheval Vineyard" consists of of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 11% Malbec, 8% Merlot, and 6% Petit Verdot from the Klipsun and Ciel du Cheval vineyards in Red Mountain. Aged for 20 months in predominantly new French oak, with only 850 cases produced. Winemaker's 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. Inspired by the great left-bank blends of Bordeaux, Dead Horse is a Cabernet Sauvignon-driven wine supported by Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. The 2009 Dead Horse is a testament to a beautiful vintage and the incredible work done in vineyards. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot show the power of this vintage, while the Merlot and Cabernet France lend balance and refinement. Each lot was fermented separately in 1.5-ton fermenters from between 12 and18 days. Then the wines were gently pressed to barrel where malolactic fermentation was completed. The wine was racked only twice prior to bottling and is unfined and unfiltered."