2014 Lonely Heart Reviews Vineyards Past Vintages

Vineyard Source

Ciel du Cheval, Red Mountain
Obelisco, Red Mountain


100% Cabernet Sauvignon



Release Date

February 11, 2016


300 Cases

Download Tasting Notes PDF

Tasting Notes

"An elegant, focused 2014 from this team, the 2014 Lonely Heart Cabernet Sauvignon offers lots of crisp black raspberry, cassis, violets and graphite in a fresh, full-bodied, nicely concentrated style... it has fine tannin and is impeccably balanced." Jeb Dunnuck

(93-95) Points, The Wine Advocate



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Wine Advocate

(93-95) Points (June 2016)

"An elegant, focused 2014 from this team, the 2014 Lonely Heart Cabernet Sauvignon offers lots of crisp black raspberry, cassis, violets and graphite in a fresh, full-bodied, nicely concentrated style... it has fine tannin and is impeccably balanced." Jeb Dunnuck


Ciel du Cheval

Owned and operated by Jim Holmes and managed by Ryan Johnson, Ciel du Cheval has helped pave the way for the fine wine grapes on Red Mountain. With 120 acres under vine, Ciel du Cheval is a major contributor to Mark Ryan wines. The very first vintages of Dead Horse and Long Haul were packed with fruit from Ciel du Cheval, a tradition that continues to this day. 

Balancing polish and refinement in its power and depth, Ciel represents a feminine compliment to Klipsun's brazen muscularity. The vines are planted in a fan trellis system, which provides a more-dense canopy to shield the clusters from the intense heat of the site. This style of management allows the grape's sugars to develop harmoniously with its concentration and physiological ripeness, showcasing deep fruit flavors balanced with non-fruit complexity.


A relative newcomer to Red Mountain, Obelisco was planted in 2006 and is a partnership between Doug Long, Paul Kaltinick and Dick Shaw. The vineyard is managed by Marshall Edwards. From the first harvest in 2008, we have had the great pleasure of working with their Cabernet Sauvignon. Obelisco fruit represents a true archetypal Cabernet profile with great texture and length.


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.