Owen Roe

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Country of Origin: USA
Location: Yakima Valley, Washington
People: David O'Reilly, Owner & Winemaker

Items

Owen Roe 2016 'Sharecropper's' Chardonnay, Yakima Valley Login
Owen Roe 2017 'Rosa Mystica' Cabernet Franc, Yakima Valley Login In Stock
Owen Roe 2017 'Sharecropper's' Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley Login In Stock
Owen Roe 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley Login In Stock
Owen Roe 2016 'Sharecropper's' Merlot, Yakima Valley Login In Stock
Owen Roe 2018 'Sharecropper's' Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley Login In Stock
Owen Roe 2016 'The Kilmore' Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton Login In Stock
Owen Roe 2017 'Abbot's Table' Red Blend, Columbia Valley Login In Stock
Owen Roe 2016 'Sharecropper's' Red Blend, Yakima Valley Login <1 Case
Owen Roe 2017 'Sharecropper's' Red Blend, Yakima Valley Login In Stock
Owen Roe 2016 'Yakima Valley' Red Bordeaux Blend, Yakima Valley Login AG 89 WS 91 In Stock
Owen Roe 2017 'Sinister Hand' Red Rhone Blend, Columbia Valley Login WS 90 In Stock
Owen Roe 2015 'Chapel Block' Syrah, Red Willow Vineyard, Yakima Valley Login AG 92+ JD 94 WS 92 WA 90 In Stock
Owen Roe 2017 'Ex Umbris' Syrah, Yakima Valley Login AG 90+ JD 91 In Stock
Owen Roe 2016 'Sharecropper's' Syrah, Columbia Valley Login In Stock

Media Links
The Seattle Times: Winemaker David O'Reilly is at home in the Yakima Valley
GoodFruit.com: Stories are plentiful at Owen Roe

Social Media
Owen Roe Blog
Twitter: @owenroewinery
Owen Roe Facebook

Owner and winemaker, David O'Reilly started his career in wine like many do--with an unused liberal arts degree (in his case, philosophy). And though he's charted his course through a different field, his Pacific Northwest winery Owen Roe, David is definitely one with ideas. Originally from Belfast, he named his winery with a nod to his roots after the 17th-century Irish activist, Owen Roe O'Neill. O’Neill’s dedication to upholding principles of political equality and freedom makes him an ideal model for Owen Roe winery, for they share his commitment to principle in work. At Owen Roe they do not compromise: only the best is good enough. Since 1999, Owen Roe has garnered a reputation for luscious Oregon Pinots and, increasingly, structured and dynamic Syrahs, Cabernet Francs and red blends from Washington.

After 15 years of operating out of his winery in Newberg, Oregon, O'Reilly has set his sites for the future by building a 7,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art winery in Yakima Valley, with an estate vineyard called Union Gap. The new low-energy facility was built into a metal barn, and it's tricked out with all the bells and whistles that would make any winemaker gush. The pieces of equipment he's dubbed his "geekiest" are two Coquard basket presses that, he says, have surpassed their expectations in the way they improve wine texture. A serendipitous perk is that they're also great for making ice wine. "On a frigid morning we harvested a couple of press loads of frozen Gewurztraminer from Outlook Vineyard and the result was sublime--the steady gentle pressing yielded delicious juice with awesome texture," said O'Reilly.

Yakima Valley is the oldest AVA in Washington and the source of 40 percent of the state's wine production. Nearly any grape can ripen in this AVA, as it has an immense diversity of microclimates, a long growing season, and great silt-loam soils over a layer of basalt. "The wines that we make from Yakima," explained O'Reilly, "while unmistakably New World, show great acidity and finesse. Here the Bordeaux and Rhone varietals ripen beautifully and the long, dry growing conditions provide for vintage consistency."

The top Owen Roe wines showcase their signature handprinted photogravure labels. The photogravures are just one example of the exacting attention to detail that Owen Roe is known for. Another is O'Reilly's meticulous approach to winemaking. David O'Reilly works with small family-run operations with an average acreage of only 30 acres. He and the growers work collaboratively to achieve maximum flavor and optimal ripeness with modest sugars to keep the wines in balance. One of the benefits of the easy growing conditions in Washington is that there tends to be a greater emphasis on vineyard or producer to find truly distinctive fruit. Vineyards are contracted by the acre with strict yield controls, and without the use of any herbicides or pesticides. The grapes receive minimal handling and the juice is racked by gravity. All wines are made in tiny lots. The same high principles are found in the winery. Only minimal handling, racking by gravity, and excellent cooperage are employed to ensure that a sense of place truly shines through each and every Owen Roe wine. From the fruit to the bottle, cork, and label, Owen Roe aims for the very best.

Owen Roe recently purchased the 280-acre Outlook Vineyard, where they grow much of the fruit for their value-driven second label, Corvidae--a Latin word for the crow family of birds, which are a common presence in the eastern Washington vineyards. Another secondary label is Sharecropper's. During Owen Roe's early vintages, which coincided with an economic downturn, the winery instated the historic practice of sharecropping with its farmers--taking the fruit for its wine on spec then sharing profits with the growers. From this partnership comes affordable, easy-drinking Pinots and Cabs.

Reviews

  • Owen Roe 2015 'Chapel Block' Syrah, Red Willow Vineyard, Yakima Valley
    Vinous
    Rating: 92+ (10/15/2017)

    Inviting aromas of black and blue fruits; not a reductive style of Syrah. Densely packed but youthfully tight, showing a hint of primary black fruit sweetness along with medicinal notes of menthol and wild herbs. Made entirely from a Phelps clone, this wine shows a distinct stony character. Very unevolved but finishes chewy and long, with lovely perfumed black raspberry lift. I'm not sure I would have guessed the vintage of this gently extracted wine. but it's a beauty.
  • Owen Roe 2015 'Chapel Block' Syrah, Red Willow Vineyard, Yakima Valley
    Jeb Dunnuck
    Rating: 94 (4/5/2018)

    The 2015 Syrah Chapel Block checks in as 100% Syrah that spent 10 months in 47% new French oak. It’s an incredibly classy, elegant wine that offers lots of black raspberry and blueberry fruit intermixed with notions of crushed flowers, salty minerality, lavender and hints of tapenade. With medium to full-bodied richness, beautiful purity, ultra-fine tannin, and a great finish, it’s not a blockbuster but has incredible class, balance, and purity, and is a remarkable wine. Tasting Date: 4/5/18 Maturity: 2018-2026
  • Owen Roe 2015 'Chapel Block' Syrah, Red Willow Vineyard, Yakima Valley
    The Wine Spectator
    Rating: 92 (5/31/2018)

    Densely built yet polished, with expressive blackberry, stony mineral and star anise flavors that build richness toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2022.
  • Owen Roe 2015 'Chapel Block' Syrah, Red Willow Vineyard, Yakima Valley
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 90 (6/29/2018)

    The 2015 Syrah Chapel Block opens in the glass with an earthy display of rich black fruit, beetroot and creosote. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, chewy and savory, and it carries a considerably payload of tannin and extract. Time will tell whether it has the depth and concentration to stand up to its structure, but I've given it the benefit of the doubt.
  • Owen Roe 2016 'Yakima Valley' Red Bordeaux Blend, Yakima Valley
    Vinous
    Rating: 89 (11/15/2018)

    Aromas of cassis, black raspberry, espresso, tobacco leaf and spices. Sappy red and darker berry fruit flavors are enlivened by high notes of spices, flowers and herbs. Offers lovely grain and intensity for an entry-level wine and gives a more consistent impression of ripeness than most entry-level blends. Finishes with smooth tannins, a note of menthol and noteworthy persistence. There's little oak to get in the way of the wine's fruit. Delicious already but should last for at least a few years.
  • Owen Roe 2017 'Ex Umbris' Syrah, Yakima Valley
    Vinous
    Rating: 90+ (11/15/2018)

    Very fresh scents of blackberry, white pepper, licorice and violet. A juicy, brisk, very pretty style of Syrah with terrific floral lift to its penetrating dark raspberry and spice flavors. Focused but quite tight and backward, showing no easy sweetness. Finishes with suave, fine-grained tannins and lovely sneaky length.
  • Owen Roe 2017 'Ex Umbris' Syrah, Yakima Valley
    Jeb Dunnuck
    Rating: 91 (4/11/2019)

    This wine is a perennial value. The 2017 Syrah Ex Umbris, a blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre, brought up in neutral oak, gives up terrific amounts of smoky black and blue fruits, ground pepper, bouquet garni, and bacon fat. It's rounded, plush, and straight-up delicious.
  • Owen Roe 2017 'Sinister Hand' Red Rhone Blend, Columbia Valley
    The Wine Spectator
    Rating: 90 (7/31/2019)

    Silky and graceful, with medium-bodied raspberry and pomegranate flavors, accented by orange peel and smoky spice notes. Drink now through 2024.
  • Owen Roe 2016 'Yakima Valley' Red Bordeaux Blend, Yakima Valley
    The Wine Spectator
    Rating: 91 (8/31/2019)

    Poised and multilayered, with currant, licorice and smoky tarragon accents that build structure toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2026.