2009 Mark Ryan Winery "Dead Horse-Ciel du Cheval Vineyard" Red Mountain

SKU #1090547 93 points 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.  (12/ 2012)

92 points 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.  (12/ 2012)

91 points Wine Spectator

 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.  (11/ 2012)

K&L Notes

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."

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

Washington

- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.