Washington is still something of a sleeping giant when it comes to making value reds. But we have certainly had our eyes opened by the likes of Alder Ridge and Powers, and little blends from folks like Bookwalter. Behold our newest surprise, the Ryan Patrick Redhead Red Columbia Valley 2016. An unpretentious blend of 56% Cabernet, 22% Merlot, 17% Syrah, 5% Petit Verdot, it has the size and polish to excel as a casual quaff, but if you pay a little attention you can also see that there is some serious fruit in here in top-flight grapes sourced from the Wahluke Slope.
The winery prides itself on its flexibility. In their own words, “Many wineries use static recipes for their wines. Instead, the (Partick Ryan) winemaking team, headed by Kendall Mix, does daily fermentations with different yeast or temperatures to achieve a specific effect. Batch-tinkering approaches have resulted in varietals and blends that have justifiably become famous for how they out-perform their price point. Ryan Patrick is known for its Naked Chardonnay, Redhead Red and Rock Island Red labels, and for its Reserve wines.
Only 15% of this charming, juicy, not-so-‘little’ red from Ryan Patrick saw any oak. The focus here is on generous berry, black cherry, and cassis flavors. At under $10 this is quite the bargain and the wine’s weight is more akin to a riper Bordeaux than something jammy from, say, Paso Robles. As such it is more versatile with food and doesn’t get tiresome in the glass.