2016 Wild Eyed Reviews Vineyards Past Vintages

Vineyard Source

Ciel du Cheval, Red Mountain
Olsen, Yakima Valley
Angela's, Red Mountain


100% Syrah



Release Date

May 18, 2018


820 cases

Download Tasting Notes PDF

Winemaking Notes

The 2016 Wild Eyed Syrah is a combination of four premium Syrah clones that give us wonderful blending tools in the cellar. Clone 383 offers dark, brooding aromatics and flavors while Clone 174 brings expansive primary fruits and sweet spice. Clone 877 bridges the gap between Clone 383 and Clone 174, with beautiful layers of sweet fruit and a dark core of powerful spice. The Phelps clone ties the wine together with it’s amazing purity and intense savory profile. Our goal with the Wild Eyed is to offer a glimpse of warmer climate Washington Syrah. The wine is specifically aged in thick staved 500L French oak barrels. Fruit was hand harvested between September 12th and September 20th 2016.  The wine was aged for 18 months in 44% new, 500 liter French oak barrels.




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From the 2015 vintage:

Wine Advocate

(92-94) Points (June 2017)

"Another 100% Syrah cuvee, the 2015 Wild Eyed Syrah sees a little less new oak than the Olivia Grace cuvee. It offers more blue fruits, bay leaf, truffle and peppered meat notes to go with a medium to full-bodied, fresh, lively, elegant style on the palate. Like all the wine here, it has terrific purity and the tannin quality is first rate." 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. 


Leif Olsen's Yakima Valley AVA vineyard consistently produces some of the highest quality and most sought after grapes in the region. The first vines were planted in 1980, with the most recent planting in 2005. Vines sprawl over 800 acres over a wide variety of slopes, aspects, and elevations. Viognier, Syrah, and Petit Verdot are sourced from Olsen for Mark Ryan Winery wines. Mark and Mike have also collaborated with Leif to plant 7 acres of high density Grenache, Syrah, and Mouvedre on ancient soils at 1200-1300 feet of elevation which will come to fruition in 2016.


Wine Advocate

2013: 92-94 PointsAlmost exclusively from Red Mountain, the 2013 Wild Eyed Syrah is another release from this team that has excpetional purity of fruit. Loaded with lots of purple fruits, violets, crushed rocks and pepper, it's full-bodied, has supple, sweet tannin and ample length on the finish. While Red Mountain generally produces more rugged, sometimes rustic Reds, this is all finesse and elegance, yet like almost all of Mike's wines, it doesn't lack for depth either. This should be reasonably approachable on release and have 12-15 years of longevity.

2011: 91 PointsMoving to the 2011s, this is a rock-solid vintage for these guys. Made from 100% Syrah and aged 18 months in 43% new 500-liter puncheons, the 2011 Wild Eye gives up classic, meaty, earthy, Syrah-driven dark fruit, smoked earth and ground pepper to go with a medium to full-bodied, beautifully pure, fresh and focused profile on the palate. Possessing building tannin, integrated acidity and a clean, lengthy finish, enjoy this outstanding Syrah over the coming decade. 

2010: 92 PointsShowing classic Red Mountain structure and tannin, the 2010 Syrah Wild Eye saw a touch more new oak, with 45% of the blend aged in new barrels. Also with superb minerality on both the nose and palate, it delivers notions of spice box, dusty pebble, dried herbs, cedar and both red and black fruit characteristics to go with a full-bodied, supple and chewy feel on the palate. Not quite as refined or elegant as the Lost Soul Syrah, it is more up-front, rustic and intense and should be enjoyed over the coming decade or so.

2009: 91 PointsSourced from Red Mountain’s Klipsun, Ciel du Cheval, and Kiona vineyards with a small assist from Red Willow, the Mark Ryan 2009 Syrah Wild Eyed leads with scents of cherry preserves whose sweetness is joined by carob and dark chocolate on a broad, dustily-tannic palate. A combination of nutty piquancy, bite and tang that’s reminiscent of crunching lentil sprouts serves for welcome counterpoint, while roasted red meat richness wells-up in a vibrantly persistent finish. This should be very worth following for at least the better part of a decade. 

2008: 90 PointsBetter balanced but not quite as pleasure-bent, the 2008 Wild Eyed Syrah was fermented with a combination of native and commercial yeasts and aged in a mix of barriques and puncheons. Deep purple in color with aromas of lavender, spice box, and assorted blue and black fruits, on the palate it is more structured than the Lost Soul cuvee but not as expressive playing it closer to the vest. 

2007: 91 PointsThe 2007 Wild Eyed Syrah was sourced from three Red Mountain sites and aged in 75% new French oak. Medium ruby-colored, it reveals a captivating nose of Asian spices, lavender, garrigue (sage), blueberry, and plum. Full-bodied on the palate with savory flavors and some elegance despite its size, this tasty offering has enough concealed tannin to evolve.

2006: 92 Points: The 2006 Syrah Wild Eyed was aged in 90% new Burgundy barrels. It offers up an alluring bouquet of smoke, tar, meat, game, and blueberry. Supple, ripe, and sweet, with nicely concentrated spicy black fruit flavors, it has enough stuffing to evolve for 2-3 years.

Wine Enthusiast

2012: 92 PointsHailing from Ciel du Cheval and Force Majeure vineyards, this aromatic wine offers pomegranate, dried leaves, mocha and crushed flowers. It’s luxuriously creamy in feel with abundant red fruit flavors.

2011: 95 PointsForce Majeure and Ciel du Cheval are the sources for this pure, compelling Red Mountain Syrah. The complex aromatics shoot up a smorgasbord of cured meat, truffle and umami notes, leading into a crisp, racy palate with lovely blueberry-dominated fruit flavors. Aging in 500-liter puncheons smoothes it out while contributing just a hint of new toast.

2010: 91 PointsThis complement to the Lost Soul Syrah comes from the other end of the Yakima Valley, the Red Mountain vineyards of Klipsun and Ciel du Cheval. Cranberry and strawberry fruit shows good concentration. It’s a compact wine with plenty of minerality from the vineyard sources, and an extended finish once it gets some breathing time.

2009: 91 PointsStill tight and chewy, this lushly-fruited Syrah mixes berry and cherry flavors with earthier, mineral-driven bass notes. It will require a bit more bottle age to unwind and decompress, but it has all of the ingredients of a wine with staying power.

2008: 93 PointsFruit sourced from Red Mountain’s top vineyards––Ciel du Cheval, Klipsun and Kiona––comes on rich and fruity, with big and powerful black cherry and cassis interwoven with threads of smoke, coffee, graphite and baking chocolate. Deep, dark and dense.

2006: 89 PointsIt’s sharp, young and citrusy, nicely spiced with herb and leavened with earth. The flavors are just beginning to blossom. Although it will continue to open up over the next year or more, showing more of the earthy, composty underpinnings, it doesn’t seem to have the depth to develop significantly. It finishes with distinctly herbal and somewhat earthy tannins.

2005: 92 PointsRed Mountain fruit from three different sites is used to create this delicious Syrah, laced with powerful flavors of coffee liqueur and chocolate. Cofermented with a dash of Viognier, it’s satiny and citrusy, speckled with pepper, and maintains an elegant precision for a wine that offers such richness.

2004: 92 PointsRed Mountain fruit (from Ciel, Hedges and Kiona) creates this delicious Syrah, laced with powerful flavors of coffee liqueur and chocolate. Co-fermented with a dash of Viognier. Satiny and citrusy, it maintains an elegant precision for a wine that offers such richness.

Wine Spectator

2010: 92 Points: Focused, lively and generous with its tomato leaf-tinged blackberry and black olive flavors, underlined with nubby tannins as the finish extends nicely.

2009: 93 PointsRipe and focused, this is centered on plum and currant fruit that expands against refined tannins and persists into the harmonious, generous finish.

2008: 93 PointsSupple, plush and juicy, this red exhibits blueberry and blackberry flavors, weaving in nuances of black pepper, red chile pepper and cedar as the finish rolls on impressively.

2007: 92 PointsRich in flavor, with a smoky animal edge adding depth to the cherry and beet flavors, mingling harmoniously as the finish comes together against refined tannins. Lingers effectively.

2006: 94 PointsThis supple, open-textured and spectacularly flavorful red from Washington offers gorgeous plum, blackberry, wild flower and espresso flavors that mingle effectively on a surprisingly well-behaved frame. This has terrific flavors and impressive length, and it doesn't go over the top.

2005: 92 PointsFirm in texture, this glows with juicy blackberry and cherry fruit, hitting some floral and white pepper notes as the finish sails on gloriously. Delivers a blast of flavor without showing much weight. Syrah and Viognier.

2004: 92 PointsDense, juicy and bright, with floral-scented blackberry, cherry and hints of white chocolate and spice as the flavors bound through t
he finish. Tannins have grip, but give them time. Best from 2008 through 2014.