Mike Macmorran, the winemaker for the Mark Ryan empire, quietly and humbly produces one of the best Washington Cabernets, period, from one of Washington's best vineyards, Red Willow, under his label Manu Propria. You won't see his name on a label. It doesn't matter. His winemaking mastery doesn't involve ego.
Despite years of praise from us, it remains virtually unknown and staggeringly underrated. It's all about quantity: an actual handful of barrels are produced each vintage (85 cases total!). We've always felt that we should undersell it because of the limited supply but that's not who we are. The risk of selling out before making everyone happy is worth the reward of those with Manu Propria in their glass. Be one of the lucky few. Pounce!
So luscious and velvety smooth, unfurling its deliciously luxurious layers, building depth and intensity as it moves towards the finish. More dark red fruited at first, plunging darker through the finish with herbes de Provence, mocha, and sweet tobacco accents. There's no need to delay gratification--I'm surprised at how open and showy it is--but I know it'll last for a good decade or more in the cellar.
Manu Propria Ex Animo, from the Latin meaning "by my own hand, from the heart," is Mike's statement to honor and celebrate Red Willow Vineyard and the Sauers, a pioneering wine family who planted some of Washington's first Cabernet vines in 1973. - Marcus
2013 vintage notes
Mike makes a small amount of Manu Propria — only 135 cases in 2013 — and we're the only source in Oregon (and one of the few in the country).
The 2013 opens with aromatic, savory notes of sage, thyme and olive combining with blackberry, cassis and barrel spice. The palate presents with a sweet core of dark fruit flavors and undercurrents of fresh herbs and smoke. The wine finishes with great length and fine-grained Cabernet Sauvignon structure. The 2013 is comprised of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc.
92 points Wine Advocate (a score we think is a too conservative): “Tasted out of bottle, the 2013 Ex Animo (92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 4% Merlot) reveals a healthy ruby/purple color as well as textbook Cabernet notes of blackcurrants, coffee beans, smoked earth and leafy herbs. Medium to full-bodied, ripe, textured and with beautiful purity of fruit (which is a hallmark of all of the wines from Mike), it will have 10-15 years of longevity.”
When I look back on the last couple years there's one Cabernet that stands out as the most exciting smash hit, now across three vintages: Manu Propria. We've received incredible feedback and honest thanks -- customers are genuinely thrilled to have it.
Mike made a mere 165 cases.
Manu Propria Ex Animo is from the Latin meaning "by my own hand, from the heart." It is Mike's statement to celebrate and exemplify Red Willow Vineyard.
2011 vintage notes
Expressive and aromatic, bursting with blackberry, tobacco, eucalyptus and dried herbs. Powerful dark fruit commands the palate, adding elements of baking spices and cedar on the rich, long, and elegant finish. You can enjoy the 2011 today with a good decant but I expect 2-3 years or more in the cellar will make this positively rock. From the famed and historically significant Red Willow Vineyard in Yakima, the 2011 is comprised of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc. - Marcus
Manu Propria Ex Animo is from the Latin meaning "by my own hand, from the heart." It is winemaker Mike Macmorran's statement to celebrate and exemplify Red Willow Vineyard. Mike is entrusted with some of Washington's best grapes through his "day job" as winemaker for both Mark Ryan and Force Majeure (formerly Grand Reve).
2010 vintage notes: It's been a long time since an unknown Washington wine lit me up like this.
The aromas are unique, arresting, and complex - a tantalizing combination of rich fruit hovering around spice and earth, leather and cured olive. Like a bubble bursting in your mouth, the intense purple berries pop, then expand into plum and deeper into cassis, finishing with cracked pepper, tobacco, and a hint of sweet dark cherry.
Fantastically balanced, you can open and drink it today (especially with a quick decant) and I have no doubt it will reward 4-6 years of aging. Like I said, you've got to try this! - Marcus