You won't see his name on a label. It doesn't matter. His mastery transcends ego.
The winemaker behind the Mark Ryan empire, Mike Macmorran is the dude. His red wine prowess is on full display today, with his signature Manu Propria Cabernet and the Mark Ryan flagships, Dead Horse and Long Haul. This is our favorite line-up since the mighty 2012s -- do not miss them.
$37.75 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($41.95 regular)
Speculation: this may very well be Washington's most underrated Cabernet. Truth: it's one of the best, regardless of price. Run to grab this wine. There were only 175 cases made of the 2014; I expect it will sell out today.
Surprisingly forward when I first opened it, unfurling its deliciously velvety layers over three days. Just some of the highlights: black currants, juicy dark berries, liquid herbes de Provence, roasted coffee, sweet tobacco. I should really be underselling this because of the limited supply, but it's so good that I can't.
Manu Propria Ex Animo, from the Latin meaning "by my own hand, from the heart," is Mike's statement to celebrate Red Willow Vineyard, the source of this fantastic wine. - Marcus
$53.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($59.95 regular)
Ever since the beginning -- that's my beginning tasting and selling Washington wine 14 years ago -- Dead Horse has been its own thing. A rockstar. The kind of wine you'd fight to pour the last glass of. It still is. The Mark Ryan wines have never been so polished while exhibiting the muscular, brash, let's-party nature of the winery. I've given it a few hours of air, opened but not decanted, and Dead Horse grabbed the microphone to say "hey, check me out!" The black fruits are welcoming yet firmly stacked, with gobs of early enjoyable exuberance that conceal the foundation that'll reward an easy 8-10 years of aging. I'd grab a few and begin drinking them now with decanting and finish the last bottle in 10 years...or who am I kidding: 8. I'm better at drinking wine than cellaring it. - Marcus
$49.45 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($54.95 regular)
It's easy to forget how gorgeous Long Haul can be -- Merlot-dominant blends simply don't get the love the way Cab-blends do. I'm here to remind you! Bright and aromatic, silky and deep, a beautiful marriage of red and black fruits mingling with violet and sweet incense notes. I'm especially impressed with the freshness and balance, which makes this shine even at such an early stage. Still, as the name implies, plan to stash a few of these for the L__g H__l. - Marcus