Three from Mark Ryan

Hello friends. I was planning on sending this set of Mark Ryan wines out as an autumn offer, but apparently sales through the winery have been brisk, spurred in part by some positive barrel-sample reviews from Jeb Dunnuck in June’s Wine Advocate.

The folks at Mark Ryan are predicting that all three of these will be sold out within the next few weeks, so they gently suggested that if I wanted our list to have access to any of these wines, we ought to make hay while the sun shines. Let’s do just that:

2012 Mark Ryan Syrah Wild Eyed

We missed out on the previous 2011 vintage of this, because I waited too long, and then Paul Gregutt published a 95pt review in Wine Enthusiast last summer that blew out every last bottle of remaining wine. No review yet from PaulG on the 2012. Fortunately for us.

This is Mark’s Red Mountain Syrah, and it comes from two outstanding sites on the mountain: one a classic (Ciel du Cheval); the other a hot newcomer (Force Majeure’s estate site at the top of the hill). It is aged in large Franch oak puncheons (usually about half new) and clocks in at a robust 15.1% listed alc. The nose of black fruit, black olive, purple flower, and baking spice moves into a rich, ripe, plummy palate. The lushness of the fruit is complemented by a jolt of orange-peel acidity, savory/wild gamey notes, and several twists of the black pepper grinder.

Review of Washington Wines (Rand Sealey): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 19/20pts.”

2012 Mark Ryan Mourvedre Crazy Mary

Among Mark Ryan’s smallest-production wines, this is not the easiest wine to source at retail. It too comes from Ciel du Cheval and Force Majeure, it too was raised in large puncheon (just 20% new), and it too lists an alc of 15.1%. It possesses that great wild Mourvedre character; something animal, gamey, along with grapefruit and pluot fruit and leather spice. A super-intense live wire on the palate, this brings a real palate-staining character, an attractive mineral tang, and a lingering finish of wild mountain fruit and game. Impressively savory and balanced. I’ve previously called this “Bandol with a Botox injection,” and that applies to this vintage as well.

Wine Advocate (Jeb Dunnuck): “(Barrel Sample); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD].”

Review of Washington Wines (Rand Sealey): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 19/20pts.”

2013 Mark Ryan Viognier

This Viognier has developed into something of a list favorite, and this is now the third vintage in a row that we’ve offered. It comes from Ciel du Cheval, Red Willow, and Olsen fruit. For a winery that produces such bold, muscular reds, you always expect this to be a fat, oily version of Washington Viognier. Instead it never seems to be anything of the kind. The balance of fleshy fruit (14.1% listed alc) and citrusy acid pop is great, and there’s no new oak influence here to get in the way of the fruit (80% neutral, 10% concrete, 10% stainless). Flavors include peaches and cream, orange creamsicle, and a compelling dash of ginger. Stephen Tanzer has used “Orange Julius” as a flavor descriptor in previous vintages. Not bad!

Wine Advocate (Jeb Dunnuck): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD].”

Please limit order requests to 36 bottles total (mix and match as you like), and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wines should arrive in about a week, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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