Owen Roe Red Willow Vineyard Chapel Block 2008
Syrah/Shiraz from Yakima Valley, Washington
#23 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2010
Red Willow Vineyard has emerged as one of the premier sites for Syrah in the Pacific NW, and our new 2008 Red Willow Chapel Block Syrah is an expression of this very special place. Red Willow's high elevation, 1200-1300 ft, placed it above the influence of the glacial Missoula floods from 12,000 years ago. As a result, the soils are more shallow and ancient than those of lower elevations. This forces vines planted here to produce especially low yields of densely concentrated fruit with very unique flavor profiles; some of the best Syrah we've ever seen. This wine is bold and complex with inky colors, fragrant aromas of lavendar with blueberry notes, cedar smoke and a hint of vanilla and licorice on the finish.
Wine Spectator - "Warm, inviting and impressive for the purity of its plum, blackberry and currant fruit, sailing easily over a bed of fine tannins and finishing silky and seamless, with hints of espresso and violet. This has extraordinary balance and finesse without sacrificing an ounce of power. Drink now through 2016."
International Wine Cellar - "Good full medium ruby. Rocky aromas of black raspberry, licorice, menthol, wild mint and rose. Concentrated, plush and suave, with superb sweetness perfectly balanced by ripe acidity. This really spreads out to saturate the mouth. Finishes very long and suave, with building sweetness and terrific energy. The pH here is around 3.65."
Owen Roe Winery
Owen Roe O'Neill was a seventeenth century Irish Patriot, who dedicated his life to upholding the highest principles of political equality and freedom. His commitment to great things makes him an ideal model for us at Owen Roe, for we share his dedication to principle in our work to produce the wines of Owen Roe. At Owen Roe we do not compromise: only the best is good enough.
Jerry Owen, on the the vineyard side, and David O'Reilly, who makes the wine, have formed Owen Roe with a simple purpose: to produce excellent wines from grapes grown and cultivated in the best vineyards in the Pacific Northwest. We have selected top quality grapes from vineyards chosen because they are in areas that ripen fruit fully, and the fruit has excellent acidity and ph balance. These vineyards are in the Willamette, Mid-Columbia, Yakima, and Walla Walla valleys. Each vineyard is contracted by the acre, with strict controls on yields and vine development. The same high principles are found in the winery. We allow only minimal handling, racking by gravity, and excellent cooperage. From the fruit to the bottle, cork, and label, Owen Roe aims for the very best.
Each of the sites we work with are tendered by true craftsmen of the viticultural trade. The principle of good earth stewardship is very important to everyone we work with, so no herbicides or pesticides are used in our vineyards. View all Owen Roe Wines
About Yakima ValleyView a map of Yakima Valley wineries
Washington's first appellation, Yakima Valley has over one third of the state's vineyards. The rolling foothills of the Cascades give the vines a good sun angle, so grapes are well-ripened come harvest time. Merlot dominates the plantings here, creating elegant wines with complex fruit, herbs & structure. Syrah continues to grow in popularity, creating blanced wines with spicy black fruit.A few smaller, but notable appellations that lie within or just outside of Yakima Valley include:
Rattlesnake Hills, which gained AVA status in 2006, lies in the north with 17 wineries.
Horse Heaven Hills, another recent sub-appellation hugs the south end of Yakima and is known for its outstanding vineyard sites that create incredible and collectible red wines.
Red Mountain, known for its intense and delicious reds, is located on the eastern side of Yakima Valley.
About OregonOregon has long been an agricultural state, producing everything from hazelnuts to cattle. The Willamette Valley in particular is a fertile basin for all sorts of produce. Not quite pegged as a wine state, in 1965, a UC Davis graduate named David Lett decided that the Willamette's climate mirrored that of Burgundy in France. With that in mind, he decided to plant some Pinot Noir clones to see how they did. And a good gamble it was. The Willamette is now one of the only regions in the world to focus solely on Pinot Noir as its red variety. Also known for Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. The southern part of Oregon has been slower in delving into the world wine market, but has been making excellent strides with their Rhone style varietals, like Syrah and Grenache. There are also coastal regions producing promising wines.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.