Owen Roe

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

Items

Owen Roe 2018 'Rosa Mystica' Cabernet Franc, Yakima Valley Login AG 92 WE 92 In Stock
Owen Roe 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley Login JD 92 JS 92 In Stock
Owen Roe 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley Login AG 91 WS 93
Owen Roe 2018 'Abbot's Table' Red Blend, Columbia Valley Login <1 Case
Owen Roe 2019 'Abbot's Table' Red Blend, Columbia Valley Login In Stock
Owen Roe 2018 'Yakima Valley' Red Bordeaux Blend, Yakima Valley Login JS 93 In Stock
Owen Roe 2019 'Sinister Hand' Red Rhone Blend, Columbia Valley Login AG 89 WE 91 JS 92 In Stock
Owen Roe 2016 'Chapel Block' Syrah, Red Willow Vineyard, Yakima Valley Login
Owen Roe 2019 'Ex Umbris' Syrah, Yakima Valley Login AG 89 JS 92 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 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley
    Jeb Dunnuck
    Rating: 92 (4/15/2020)

    Checking in as 100% Cabernet aged 20 months in 14% new French oak, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley offers uber-ripe notes of crème de cassis, blackberry liqueur, melted licorice, chocolate, and graphite. While it puts its foot firmly on the ripeness pedal, it holds it together and is full-bodied, has a fruit loaded, opulent style, ripe tannins, and a great finish.
  • Owen Roe 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley
    James Suckling
    Rating: 92 (4/15/2020)

    Depth of fruit and intensity to this Cabernet with a beautiful core of ripe fruit that remains pure and fresh. Full-bodied and tight with very polished tannins and a long, flavorful finish.
  • Owen Roe 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley
    Vinous
    Rating: 91 (12/3/2020)

    Currant, cherry, menthol, tobacco leaf and dried herbs on the nose; I would have guessed this wine had some Cabernet Franc in it. Then lively, suave and fruit-driven in the mouth, with raspberry, redcurrant and cherry flavors lifted by a faint minty element. Distinctly more red than black in its fruit character and quite fine-grained, juicy and graceful. A captivating sweet/savory Cabernet Sauvignon with fine-grained harmonious tannins and lovely floral lift. This is awfully easy to drink right now, but there's no rush. I suspect this will age well on its balance.
  • Owen Roe 2019 'Sinister Hand' Red Rhone Blend, Columbia Valley
    Vinous
    Rating: 89 (12/3/2020)

    Expressive nose combines dark raspberry, black cherry, menthol, tree bark, black pepper, licorice and dark chocolate. Plush, fruit-driven and smooth; as much savory as sweet, with complicating notes of bitter chocolate, spices and medicinal herbs. A pretty adult wine for the price. The smooth tannins won't get in the way of enjoying this juicy wine right now, but it will probably soften a bit with another year in the bottle. Finishes with good length and no rough edges.
  • Owen Roe 2019 'Ex Umbris' Syrah, Yakima Valley
    Vinous
    Rating: 89 (12/3/2020)

    Black cherry, dark raspberry, blueberry, mocha, pepper and dark chocolate on the nose. Juicy, high-pitched and penetrating, with refreshing pepper and herbal lift to its fine-grained red and darker berry flavors. Savory as much as sweet, displaying lovely energy and juiciness. Finishes with dusty but even tannins and very good rising floral length. A seamless, lively, brisk wine with no rough edges. This perennial top value is delicious today.
  • Owen Roe 2018 'Rosa Mystica' Cabernet Franc, Yakima Valley
    Vinous
    Rating: 92 (12/3/2020)

    Dark raspberry, minerals and bitter chocolate on the perfumed nose, complicated by menthol and herbal nuances and lifted by a floral quality. Very suave and refined on entry, then smooth and floral in the middle palate, showing a tighter grain than the Union Gap blend. As much red as black fruit in character and quite seamless; medicinal in a positive way, with nuances of menthol and red licorice. Firmly constructed but reveals an essential suppleness of texture that makes it tastable already. Still, this wine's substantial fine-grained tannins call for at least a year or two of cellaring, and it has the material and balance to evolve gracefully. My sample was even more floral with 24 hours of aeration, and I raised my score a point. Classy juice!
  • Owen Roe 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley
    The Wine Spectator
    Rating: 93 (7/7/2021)

    Detailed and refined, with handsomely structured blackberry, coffee bean and black tea flavors that build tension toward fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2028.
  • Owen Roe 2018 'Rosa Mystica' Cabernet Franc, Yakima Valley
    Wine Enthusiast
    Rating: 92 (8/31/2021)

    Nuanced aromas of savory herb, barrel spice, dark chocolate and black cherry are followed by a well-structured palate, with the tightly wound tannins supporting soft, layered fruit flavors. It brings both a bit of tannic brawn and sophistication and is guaranteed to impress. Best after 2024. Cellar Selection.
  • Owen Roe 2019 'Sinister Hand' Red Rhone Blend, Columbia Valley
    Wine Enthusiast
    Rating: 91 (8/31/2021)

    (Editors' Choice) The aromas fascinate in notes of raspberry, thistle, cranberry, blueberry, herbs and coffee. Plump, palate-coating flavors follow. There's a lovely texture and purity to this wine, while it remains light on its feet. Raspberry and blueberry notes linger on the finish.
  • Owen Roe 2019 'Ex Umbris' Syrah, Yakima Valley
    James Suckling
    Rating: 92 (7/12/2021)

    Dried violets, cherries, blueberries, smoked meat and cracked pepper on the nose. It’s medium-to full-bodied with fine tannins and fresh acidity. Supple and subtly smoky.
  • Owen Roe 2019 'Sinister Hand' Red Rhone Blend, Columbia Valley
    James Suckling
    Rating: 92 (7/12/2021)

    Blueberries, lavender, plum leaf, lemon zest and stones on the nose. It’s medium-to full-bodied with fine-grained tannins. Supple, juicy and fruity. Flavorful finish.
  • Owen Roe 2018 'Yakima Valley' Red Bordeaux Blend, Yakima Valley
    James Suckling
    Rating: 93 (7/12/2021)

    Aromas of plums, currants, blueberries, dried tangerine peel, charcoal and spice box. It’s medium-to full-bodied with firm, chewy tannins. Structured and textured with bright layers of wild fruit and spice.