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Owen Roe Lady Rosa Syrah 2012

Owen Roe





Final vintage.

Previous vintage notes: The 2010 Lady Rosa Syrah reminds of the best things that come off my grill, like Tuesday night's lamb chops finished with truffle salt. Mouthwatering smells of savory oil-cured olives, violets, and yes, grilled meat has me thirsty and hungry. The Lady Rosa's hallmark is pure fruit; the 2010 is loaded with blackberry and sweet cherry that shine. I really dig the lack of overt oak and the overall balance - things that make Lady Rosa a slam dunk with food. - Marcus

2010 Tanzer - 92+ points - Bright, dark ruby. Perfumed, high-toned nose combines red berries, lavender, violet and game. Highly complex and firm, with the youthful dark berry flavors framed by an edge of acidity and lifted by a floral topnote. Most impressive today on the very long, sharply delineated finish, which shows an edge of acidity and a youthful mineral character. I'd forget this in the cellar for six or seven years.

"Lady Rosa -widow of Don Eugenio O'Neill - The General of the Irish"
This wine is named for a great lady, the wife of Owen Roe O'Neill. Rose O'Neill was only one of a small number of women who were part of the Flight of the Earls. This episode in Irish history marked the regrouping of the leaders of Irish independence in mainland Europe in 1607. Eventually, Owen Roe O'Neill returned to rally the beleaguered Irish forces against injustice. Before doing so, he finished university at Salamanca in Spain and distinguished himself as an officer in the Spanish military. Rose passed away on the European continent in 1660 where she fled again upon the poisoning of her husband.

The label is a hand pulled etching - it shows an old graveyard - does the Lady Rosa haunt the rows of mossy headstones? It's both lovely and powerful, the lady has a big presence- full of black fruit and smokiness, serve with grilled venison and prime rib roast.

The Washington State Vineyards

This wine is made with grapes from two vineyards located in what David O'Reilly describes as a "a magical area" in the Rattlesnake Hills in Northern Yakima Valley. Having been there recently for the first time, I can see why he calls it "magical".

The region is eerily wild, with vast expanses of dusty high desert suddenly broken by valleys, high cliffs breaking steeply to the fringe of green along the wide blue gray river. You drive for miles past mile long fields of apple trees, then veer into military test ranges, regimental formations of massive power poles marching into the distance, and occasional tiny pockets of buildings, including one that announces "you are now in the middle of nowhere" with great pride.

Owen Roe's Syrah is uniquely its own style. It has a burly, wild, gamey yes frankly sexy quality that I find irresistible.

The three vineyards are located in a magical area in the Rattlesnake Hills in Northern Yakima Valley. The combination of high elevation, intensive vineyard management, and a small crop yielded superbly balanced fruit. An ethereal Syrah, full of intense violet notes, that will reward with a few years of cool cellaring.

2009 Vintage Tasting Notes

This is one nice Lady. Ripe and gushing, the 09 adds an intense high note of raspberry to the rich blueberry and plum flavors of previous vintages. Add exotic candied violets and five spice and you've reached a compelling, fantastic follow-up to the 2008 Lady Rosa.

Tasting notes were written on day 2 of the wine being opened - I recommend extensive decanting or cellaring for at least 2 years before drinking. - Marcus

2009 Wine Spectator - 91 points - This ripe and rich Syrah is a roiling soup of black cherry, prune, clove, orange peel and smoky meat flavors that keep kicking on the supple texture. Shows depth, just needs time to come together. Best from 2013 through 2018. 138 cases made. - H.S.

2008 Vintage Tasting Notes

Owen Roe Lady Rosa Syrah 08 is a brand new release that follows on the heels of its Wine Spectator 94-point, Highly Recommended 2007 predecessor. We love the purity and power of the Lady Rosa.

"The fruit for the Lady Rosa Syrah is from a six mile area situated high in the cool western Yakima Valley. Two vineyards comprise this wine; Hugh and Kathy Shiels' DuBrul Vineyard, and Outlook Vineyard farmed by Roger Bates. Their small crops yielded ethereal aromas and wonderfully rich fruit flavors with fragrant violets and natural balanced acidity. This wine will mature beautifully over the next ten years." - the winery

2007 Vintage Tasting Notes

Owen Roe Lady Rosa Syrah 07 has totally lush scents of candied violets, sweet blackberries, and bacon fat waft from the glass. Super juicy yet sweet blackberries mingle with hints of clove, anise, and ginseng on the complex finish. The Lady Rosa 07 marries fantastic density of fruit with brightness from the acidity. Remarkable balance for such a big wine--expect it to age gracefully.

The 2007 Owen Roe Lady Rosa Syrah is made from Mike and Karen Sauer's Red Willow Vineyard (67%) and the rest from Outlook Vineyard, farmed by Roger Bates. These small hillside blocks are situated high in the cool western Yakima Valley and yields were kept low to maximize flavor and balance.

Every year, this is the Owen Roe Syrah you want to spend time with, as you witness the layers of flavor unfold in the glass. Cellaring this wine will produce even more enjoyment. This is one of the finest Washington Syrahs produced.

2007 Wine Spectator - 94 points - Polished, refined and beautifully focused to show its plum, clove, nutmeg and cream flavors against superfine tannins. The flavors persist elegantly on the long, expressive finish. Drink now through 2015. - HS

2006 Vintage Tasting Notes

2006 Wine Spectator - 93 points - A ripe, heady style, with a jolt of acidity to keep the rich plum, dried blueberry and mocha flavors in check, giving them the afterburners they need to shoot through the long, vivid finish. Drink now through 2016. - H.S."

2005 Vintage Tasting Notes

2005 Wine Spectator - 93 points - Bright, powerful and zingy, with acidity to balance the dense, ripe blackberry, smoke and licorice flavors that persist on the plush finish. Hints of pepper and a reemergence of the berry flavors enliven the aftertaste. Best from 2008 through 2015. 200 cases made. H.S.

The grapes for the Lady Rosa Syrah are from DuBrul Vineyard and from a vineyard located 4 miles to the west, the Outlook Vineyard. Each Syrah block in the vineyards has wide swatches of small stones that bring out the best in this variety. This relatively small area has proven to yield ethereal Syrah grapes that have wonderfully rich fruit flavors with scent and hints on the palate of fragrant violets.

2004 Vintage Tasting Notes

Amazingly fragrant, a huge yet multi-layered Syrah from the low yielding, old vine Dubrul Vineyard, vineyards surrounding it, and Rosa Mystica Vineyard.

The word for this wine is "ethereal", according to David. The fragrance of violets is intense in both nose and mouth, with big black fruit flavors, exotic spices, black pepper and hints of sandalwood. Very limited, only four barrels made.

2004 Wine Spectator - 91 points - Smooth, with vibrant acidity to balance the ripe blueberry, toast and spice flavors that keep singing through the long, fine-grained finish. Best from 2008 through 2014. - H.S.