Equal parts gutsy and polished-vintage Mark Ryan-The Dissident stands shoulder-to-shoulder with many wineries' flagship wines, for far fewer dollars. Plush black fruits cascade through the finish. While the name might suggest this wine is made from barrels that don't fit the reserve program, such is definitely not the case: Dissident is sourced from the same vineyards, aged in the same barrels, and given the same love that goes into the flagships Dead Horse and Long Haul. The difference is The Dissident is made to drink young (and it shows!) and the others are made for the cellar. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. - Marcus
2017 vintage notes
93 points Wine Spectator: "Expressive and supple, featuring a complex, layered core that offers black raspberry, rose petal and licorice flavors, gliding toward polished tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2028."
2015 vintage notes
92-94 points Wine Advocate: "The 2015 The Dissident checks in as 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot. It sees just over 50% new French oak and is made in reasonable quantities, so readers looking to give this estate a try should grab onto a few bottles. It offers a broad, expansive, mouth-filling style that I love as well as classic cassis, Asian spice, toasted bread and graphite aromas and flavors. It's a terrific entry-level cuvee that over-delivers at the price."
As it says, Dissident stands shoulder-to-shoulder with many wineries' flagship wines, for far fewer dollars. The 2016 is fantastic, with plush black fruits that cascade through the finish. - Marcus