Mark Ryan McNeilly is a Woodinville, Washington winemaker who has developed a strong cult following. The winery is best known for big, powerful red wines, including two from famed Ciel de Cheval Vineyard – the merlot-driven Long Haul and cabernet-driven Dead Horse. The 2006 Water Witch, a cabernet-merlot blend from Red Mountain’s Klipsun, was one of my Wines of the Year for 2008. Here we take a look at two wines released earlier this month – the 2007 Chardonnay and Dissident, both from the Columbia Valley AVA.

A note about the Mark Ryan red wines. These tend to be high alcohol content wines (between 14-15%) and do not typically show well at higher temperatures as a lot of alcohol starts to come off on the nose. I highly recommend serving these wines about 62 degrees.







Mark Ryan Chardonnay Columbia Valley 2007

Lightly colored. An engaging nose with mineral, wood, lemon, melon, and toasted oak. Surprisingly weighty on the tongue. Rounded and very well put together with lots of lemon notes. 6,300 cases produced. 13.9% alcohol.



Mark Ryan Dissident Red Wine Columbia Valley 2007

Dark purple. Aromas of sweet and floral components along with candied fruit. A bit of heat. Super-extracted and thick on the palate with all sorts of grippy fruit. 37% Merlot; 34% Syrah; 26% Cabernet; 1% Petit Verdot. 14.6% alcohol.