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Owen Roe Sinister Hand 2016

  • V91
750ML / 14.1% ABV
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3.9 5 Ratings
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3.9 5 Ratings
750ML / 14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A record-breaking hot vintage led to an early harvest in some of the vineyards in which Owen Roe sources its fruit for the Sinister Hand. The winery's estate Syrah from Outlook Vineyard came in as early as August 27th! The team was excited about the heat and monitored the vineyards closely for optimal sugar levels and ripeness, finishing up harvest around the 3rd week of September. With these varying ripening dates, the winery found layers of complexity within each block. The heat rendered beautiful aromas of black pepper, clove and juniper with juicy hints of dried strawberry, pie cherries and fig. Flavors of chocolate, green peppercorn and boysenberry are delicious on the palate, resulting in a full-bodied, mouthcoating Rhone-styled blend.

Blend: 63% Grenache, 16% Syrah, 16% Mourvedre, 5% Cinsaut

Critical Acclaim

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V 91
Vinous
(David O'Reilly uses carbonic maceration for the Cinsaut component in order to round out its tannins and enhance primary perfume and fruit notes): Moderately saturated medium red. Perfumed, highly nuanced nose offers scents of red raspberry, cherry, meat, red licorice, spices and purple sage, plus a whiff of graphite minerality and a faintly candied quality that carries through onto the palate. Savory and classically dry, with its boysenberry and blackberry fruit flavors complemented by salty minerality. The tannins are fairly light but firm.
Rating: 91+
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Owen Roe

Owen Roe

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Owen Roe, Oregon
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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.

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A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington state’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA even extends into northern Oregon!

Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

Tasting Notes for Rhône Blends

A Rhône blend is a dry, red wine and will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Food Pairings for Rhône Blends

Rhône Blends work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secrets for Rhône Blends

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

PBC9184030_2016 Item# 391703

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