Review: 2016 Mark Ryan Winery The Dissident and 2017 Viognier
Walla Walla, Washington is home to Mark Ryan Winery, which makes some of this region’s most engaging wines. Let’s taste two new offerings from its recently released bottlings.
2016 Mark Ryan Winery The Dissident Red Wine Columbia Valley – A blend of 56% cabernet sauvignon, 24% merlot,
17% cabernet franc, and 3% petit verdot. Ready to go, despite its relative youth. Aromatic hints of charcoal and roasted meats lead the way to a palate that features dusky blackberry, tea leaf, cola, and walnut notes. That’s all pretty savory for a young wine, and The Dissident drinks older than its mere two years of age, with ample austerity on the finish. B+ / $35
2017 Mark Ryan Winery Viognier Yakima Valley – While not an instantly obvious viognier, this wine is heavily fragrant with honeysuckle and white flowers, and bold on the palate with both lemon and peach notes. Far from unbearably sweet, there’s an herbal edge to the finish, with rosemary and some cardamom character lingering on the back end. Versatile and enchanting, it’s a bit like an upgraded, better-balanced sauvignon blanc. A- / $30
I’m a big fan of Mark Ryan, some of the best wines I’ve found since moving up here to the gloomy Pacific Northwest.