Another WAwineman classic, 1st posted on Aug. 8, 2010:
In a nutshell, Owen Roe, the name, reflects on winemaker David O’Reilly’s Irish ancestry. Owen Roe O’Neill led a Catholic revolt against primarily English Protestant settlers in 1642 (The Irish Rebellion of 1641). Oddly, O’Neill was a Gaelic officer in the Spanish army and earlier hoped Spain would aid in the invasion of Ireland and subsequently become a republic under Spanish protection.
Sadly, today the “wall” still exists between Catholic and Protestant sections in Belfast. The Peace Lines stand up to 25 feet tall and run 13 miles. Graffiti art dot the landscape in a land with similar climate to western WA. The iconic meal is Irish stew and a pint of Guinness at the Crown Bar.
David O’Reilly is one of the founders of a great Oregon winery, Sineann in St. Paul, but is spreading his influence with his growing lines of wines. A quick search of his portfolio includes: Owen Roe Winery (“photograph” single-vineyard designates and luxe blends, “woodcut” premium wines, and “Sharecropper’s” in tribute to those who farm the grapes), Corvidae (“value” wines that are “crafty, adaptable, and somewhat dubious characters”), O’Reillys (the “value” lineup of Owen Roe), and Cream Winery (a concept winery where reusable quart-sized milk containers are filled with wine and sold only to restaurants or at the winery).
David recently purchased a former Carnation dairy in Sunnyside that once housed Washington Hills and Apex Cellars. He also purchased Outlook Vineyard (just over 80 acres (out of 235.49) and planted to semillon, viognier, roussanne, riesling, grenache, syrah and merlot), between Sunnyside and Outlook in the Rattlesnake Hills AVA. The three parcel vineyard is on the block for $1.15 million. Owen Roe wines come from prominent vineyards: Elerding (HHH), DuBrul (Rattlesnake Hills), Red Willow (Yakima Valley), Erickson Road (Yakima Valley), Slide Mountain (Yakima Valley), and Lewis (The Dalles).
No wine club, but it’s coming. Sure wouldn’t mind seeing this winery plop a tasting room somewhere in Seattle/Woodinville.
A good pairing with grilled ribeye, complementing the meat in a supporting role. A better pairing was with Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate covered raisins (recommended).
Tasted at 54-62 degrees F on the IR temp gun. The wine showed better below 60 degrees. A clear color of deep magenta opens with lively cherries, strawberries, and raspberries. Light-to-medium bodied on the palate, flavors evolve to candied Bing cherries, black cherry, some smooth tannins, and Theo dark chocolate on a hastened finish.
Alcohol: 14.1%. Composition: 24% zinfandel, 22% sangiovese, 15% cab sau, 12% syrah, 10% merlot, 7% cab franc, 6% lemberger, 4% malbec. The 2009 version has 13% grenache. This is about as “red” a red wine coming out of the Columbia Valley AVA. Aged 6 months in 18% new French oak. Rated: 88. Value: $15. Paid: $18. Found at Costco…oh, it’s gone. Music pairing: “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing” by Jack Johnson. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.