Washington Wine Club – December 2020

2018 Mark Ryan, Dead Horse, $60

Winery info: Mark Ryan McNeilly began making wine in 1999, working in various garages and warehouses before finally settling into Woodinville in 2003. As production increased he relocated to his current location in Woodinville’s Hollywood area. His goal from the beginning has been to make delicious wines that represent the vineyard from which they come, and to make every vintage better than the last. We’ve featured many of his wines in this club over the years. This is the 20th anniversary vintage of his Dead Horse.

Winemaker: Mark Ryan McNeilly and Mike MacMorran

Grapes: 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot

Vineyard Source: Quintessence, Ciel du Cheval, and Klipsun vineyards, all in the Red Mountain AVA.

Flavor profile: This vintage of the Dead Horse is full bodied and lush, with dark fruit flavors of red currant and plum, and savory notes of spice and cocoa. With balanced acidity, soft dusty tannins, and a long finish.

Availability: 2,200 cases produced. This wine was just released in September so it should be in good supply for a while.

Drinkability: Enjoy this wine any time over the next three to five years.

Food Pairing: Perfect for a tender, juicy steak of course, or any other robust fare.

2016 Soos Creek Wine Cellars, Sundance Red Wine, $25

Winery info: David Larsen was the first of a number of talented members of the Boeing Wine Club who went on to establish successful wineries in the state. His first commercial vintage was in 1989 and today Soos Creek remains a small, family-owned winery specializing in Washington State red wines made from Bordeaux varietals. Thanks to David’s early connections with some of Washington’s top vineyards, he still has access to some of the best fruit in the state.

Winemaker: David Larson

Grapes: 50% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 25% Cabernet Franc, age 22 months in neutral French oak.

Vineyards: Ciel du Cheval, Dineen, Rosebud, and Slide Mountain vineyards.

Flavor profile: Bright and juicy, with aromas and flavors of black cherry and licorice, and a touch of baking spice. Overall, it is inviting and smooth with soft tannins, a balancing touch of oak, and a nice lingering finish.

Availability: 125 cases made. This wine is still in decent supply.

Drinkability: Enjoy now or over the next three years or so.

Food Pairing: This versatile wine would pair well with anything from hearty meat dishes, to lighter fare such as poultry or pasta.