2017 Lonely Heart Reviews Vineyards Past Vintages

Vineyard Source

Quintessence, Red Mountain
Klipsun, Red Mountain


100% Cabernet Sauvignon



Release Date

February 8, 2020


420 cases

Download Tasting Notes PDF

94-96 points, Jeb Dunnuck

"The flagship Cabernet Sauvignon from the estate is the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Lonely Heart, which comes mostly from the Quintessence Vineyard on Red Mountain yet also includes some fruit from Klipsun. Made from 100% Cabernet aged in new French oak, it has a deep, saturated purple color as well as a powerful, full-bodied, beautifully balanced style. Terriffc notes of creme de cassis, toasted spice, graphite, espresso, and crushed violets all emerge from this serious, backward, and age-worthy effort."



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Wine Advocate

From the 2015 Vintage - (94-96)+ Points (June 2017)

"The same blend as the Old Vine Cuvee, the 290-case 2015 Lonely Heart Cabernet Sauvignon offers classic Washington State Cabernet characteristics of black and blue fruits, notes of violets and graphite, lots of minerality, full-bodied richness and beautifully polished tannin. This beauty opens up nicely with time in the glass and is one of the more complete, balanced and nuanced in the lineup. I love it, and it's going to have two decades or more of longevity." Jeb Dunnuck





Quintessence Vineyards is a 410-acre parcel of land with a base elevation of 675 feet, rising to 1,025 feet as it reaches Red Mountain AVA's southwest-facing slopes. Quintessence founders Dick Shaw and Paul Kaltinick planted their first vines as partners on Red Mountain in 2010. They launched Quintessence with a planting of 68 acres along Red Mountain's southwestern slope. Positive response was immediate, with customers pointing to "world class vineyard management" and "spectacular fruit" as some outstanding attributes. Additional planting followed, with similar success. Now, with the expansion along the eastern ridge and slop of Red Mountain, Quintessence will encompass some 300 acres in total. Quintessence is made up of premium land, a talent for farming, dedicated management, ideal growing conditions, and a love for what they do.


Named by Wine and Spirits magazine as one of the Top 25 vineyards in the World, Klipsun is truly a Washington icon. Located on the western edge of Red Mountain AVA, the vineyard was planted in 1984 by David and Patricia Gelles. There are currently 120 acres planted to vines, managed by Julia Kock. Klipsun fruit is all about power. It's placement on Red Mountain exposes the vines to strong nighttime winds that thicken the grape's skins, making a smaller berry with dense fruit concentration and broad-shouldered structure. These conditions, coupled with the natural, consistent heat of Red Mountain create a wine of big, bold aromas and muscular intensity and power.


Wine Advocate

2012: 95 PointsPossessing the most length, depth and texture, the 2012 Lonely Heart Cabernet Sauvignon (which incorporates 10% Merlot) is a briliant wine that comes from three vineyards on Red Mountain: Quintessence, Ciel du Cheval and Force Majeure. Aged 21 months in 68% new French oak, it possesses loads of black raspberry and cassis fruit intermixed with graphite, crushed river rocks, chocolate and spice-box. As with all of Mike's wine, this has incredibly purity of balance, and I suspect will have 20-25 years of longevity. 

2011: 93 PointsThe 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Lonely Heart is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc that spent 21 months in 74% new French oak. Possessing rock star concentration and depth (which is not common in the vintage), with aromas and flavors of black currants, licorice, crushed rock and charcoal, this full-bodied effort has fantastic polish to its tannin, perfect balance and overall classic, age-worthy feel. It too will have two decades or more of longevity. 

2010: 93 Points: A bigger, more structured and slightly more rustic wine, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Lonely Heart (89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot and 3% Petit Verdot) offers up decadently styled notions of black currants, spice box, graphite, coffee grinds and dusty minerality on the nose. This flows to a full-bodied, chewy, tannic and mouth-filling Cabernet that needs 3-4 years of bottle age and will have 15 years or more of longevity. While I like the texture and overall elegance of the Dead Horse more, there’s no denying the overall quality here and it will dish out loads of pleasure once the tannins integrate.

2009: 90 PointsFrom the price he charges not to mention the critical attention already received, it’s clear I’m playing devil’s advocate by what will appear to be damning Mark Ryan’s 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Lonely Heart with faint praise. This blend of Klipsun and Ciel du Cheval fruit, including 13% Petit Verdot, is impressively concentrated and ripe, its cassis and blackberry preserves married to dark chocolate and bitter green herbal concentrate that largely cover-over its considerable tannins and lead to a persistent finish. But I simply don’t experience anything like the sense of energy or complex interplay that informs the corresponding Long Haul and Dead Horse bottlings. This massive effort will probably last for at least a decade and perhaps in the process will reveal greater complexity and some finesse. 

2008: 93+ PointsMy personal favorite in the portfolio is the 2008 Lonely Heart Cabernet Sauvignon (which contains 17% Petit Verdot in its blend) sourced from the Ciel du Cheval, Kiona, and Stillwater Creek Vineyards and aged in 100% new French oak. The deepest in color and most structured of any of these wines, it is a densely packed, loaded wine with tons of fruits and the tannins to match. The wine is still tightly wound and will require an additional 6-8 years of cellaring. However, it seems to have all the right stuff for a positive evolution. 

2007: 89 PointsLike the corresponding Dead Horse, Mark Ryan’s 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Lonely Heart is not as impressive as the corresponding 2009, but it’s even more brooding, almost somber, with mulberry and blackberry fruit, peat, and black pepper playing well below the bar line. A suggestion of pencil lead adds to the rather Bordelais impression conveyed in a rather grainy finish. It will certainly be worth revisiting this over the coming half dozen years.

Wine Enthusiast

2011: 96 Points: This bottling is quintessential Red Mountain in style, with potent aromatics of concentrated black fruits, gun metal and rock. Sourced from Ciel du Cheval, Obelisco, Force Majeure and Klipsun, it’s a one-wine showcase for the AVA. The spectrum of fruit flavors is impressive, compact and deep, and despite the high alcohol it retains its precision and detail.

2010: 94 PointsThis is tight as a drum on first taste, as Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon can often be. Sourced entirely from Klipsun and Ciel du Cheval vineyards, and made in limited quantities, it could be considered Mark Ryan’s reserve, though it is not labeled as such. It is built for the long term, and will require decanting if you are drinking it early. There is a core of tightly-wound cherry fruit, a strong mineral base, excellent focus and impressive length.

2009: 95 PointsPure, dense and deep, this captures the pure essence of Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. Berry and cherry flavors surface in equal proportion, with more rock than barrel adding complexity throughout the finish. Excellent depth and structure suggest that this is one to put down for a decade or more.

2007: 95 PointsThe first reserve from this winery, this is the most structured, dense and tightly layered Mark Ryan wine to date. It has the density and compact structure of Quilceda Creek, with perhaps just a shade less concentration. Aromatically complex, you can pick out early details of seed, coffee, pepper, chocolate and tobacco around the dense cassis, plum and cherry fruit. But this wine is truly a baby, and should not be touched for a decade or more.

Wine Spectator:

2009: 91 PointsTannins swarm around the focused, detailed black cherry, grilled meat and spice flavors, which prevail on the expressive finish. Needs rich food to compensate for the tannins.

2008: 91 PointsFirm in texture, deftly balanced to play its rose petal-accented blackberry and currant fruit against hints of wet earth and tobacco, finishing against slightly gritty tannins.

2007: 93 PointsPolished, powerful, focused and disarming for its juicy, ripe black currant and dark plum fruit, nicely framed by licorice, pepper and black olive notes. Lingers against refined tannins.