Owen Roe

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


Owen Roe 2016 'Sharecropper's' Chardonnay, Yakima Valley Login In Stock
Owen Roe 2017 'Rosa Mystica' Cabernet Franc, Yakima Valley Login AG 91+ 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 2018 'Abbot's Table' Red Blend, Columbia Valley Login In Stock
Owen Roe 2017 'Sharecropper's' Red Blend, Yakima Valley Login In Stock
Owen Roe 2017 'Yakima Valley' Red Bordeaux Blend, Yakima Valley Login AG 89 In Stock
Owen Roe 2018 'Sinister Hand' Red Rhone Blend, Columbia Valley Login AG 89 In Stock
Owen Roe 2015 'Chapel Block' Syrah, Red Willow Vineyard, Yakima Valley Login AG 92+ JD 94 WS 92 <1 Case
Owen Roe 2018 'Ex Umbris' Syrah, Yakima Valley Login 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.


  • Owen Roe 2015 'Chapel Block' Syrah, Red Willow Vineyard, Yakima Valley
    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 2017 'Rosa Mystica' Cabernet Franc, Yakima Valley
    Rating: 91+ (12/3/2019)

    Medicinal but subtle and inviting aromas of blackcurrant, crushed blueberry, violet and licorice. Still a bit reduced and reserved on the palate, but the cassis and huckleberry flavors show good texture and an attractive restrained sweetness. Finishes with a broad dusting of tannins, an element of medicinal reserve, and slowly rising dark fruit flavors. A superb value.
  • Owen Roe 2017 'Yakima Valley' Red Bordeaux Blend, Yakima Valley
    Rating: 89 (12/3/2019)

    Pungent yet subdued scents of redcurrant, raspberry, mint, tobacco leaf and herbs. Smooth, subtly sweet and suave in the middle palate, with red fruit and spice flavors accented but not at all overshadowed by tobacco leaf and herbs. This reminded me of a cleaner version of a medium-bodied claret from a lesser Bordeaux appellation. A worthy successor to the very good 2016, which like this wine conveyed an impression of consistent ripeness for a second wine. Very easy to drink, if not especially complex or deep. Finishes with broad, dusty tannins but no hardness.
  • Owen Roe 2018 'Sinister Hand' Red Rhone Blend, Columbia Valley
    Rating: 89 (12/3/2019)

    The nose combines peppery medicinal herbs and slightly liqueur-like red cherry and raspberry aromas, with the Grenache element dominating today. An easygoing wine with red fruit, spice and herb flavors offering immediate appeal. Finishes with a firm dusting of essentially smooth tannins and good subtle length. Lacks only the complexity and urgency for 90 points. A bit fatter than the 2017 version last year but not quite as juicy or delineated.