Today our minds and palates turn northward, to Washington state, where Mark Ryan Winery has recently put out its fall releases. Let’s take a spin through three of them, all members of its lower-cost Board Track Racers series.
2015 Mark Ryan Winery Board Track Racers “The Vincent” Chardonnay Columbia Valley – A pretty, unoaked chardonnay, loaded with notes of pear, red apples, and light honey notes. Florals emerge as the wine opens up and gets warmer, the finish coming across as particularly (and perhaps a bit overly) perfumed. Hints of lemon peel and grapefruit round out the finish. B+ / $15
2014 Mark Ryan Winery Board Track Racers “The Vincent” Red Wine Columbia Valley – A blend of unknown red varietals, but which tastes cabernet-heavy. This is a simple wine — “pizza wine,” if you must — which offers ample earth, some clove notes, and a dark fruit core, featuring blackberry and currants. The dusty, wood-influenced finish is lackluster, but innocuous. B / $20
2014 Mark Ryan Winery Board Track Racers “The Chief” Columbia Valley – A blend of 85% cabernet sauvignon, 10% merlot, and 5% petit verdot (per the label; the website has cab franc listed too). This is a more upscale blend, with violets and other mixed florals making a strong showing against a backdrop of black and some red berries. Initially a little dusty, the fruit opens up with time in air, but the finish echoes licorice. B+ / $28