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Owen Roe Sinister Hand 2012
Always a delicious meeting of Southern Rhone varietals and Northwest-style winemaking, the 2012 Sinister Hand delivers a black and blue fruited delight that is ready to drink but is hankering for some cool autumn evenings. The nose is a enticing combination of blueberries, iron, and rhubarb pie. Blackberries take over on the finish which has just the right touch of grip. 70% Grenache, 16% Syrah, 9% Mourvedre, 5% Cinsault - Andy
2011 Vintage Tasting Notes
Sinister Hand is a blend of dark, hearty red grapes traditionally used in wine from France's Rhone region. The Sinister Hand blend contains Washington State fruit: 63% Grenache, 19% Syrah, 16% Mourvedre, and 2% Cinsault.
at right, David O'Reilly in Washington's Columbia Valley
2010 Vintage Tasting Notes
A small crop of intensely flavored fruit in 2010 means fewer bottles than usual of an especially "big" Sinister Hand. Dark, juicy, jammy and spicy. Almost like a liquor in depth and richness. Syrah adds pepper, Grenache adds raspberry jam. Big, meaty, dark.
The Sinister Hand label shows the severed hand of Owen Roe O'Neil- the Irish patriot whose severed hand appears on the coat of arms of winemaker David O'Reilly's family. Long ago, during the 11th century, the O’Neills and O’Reillys were two revolutionary Irish families. They formed a rowing competition to reserve rights to some highly regarded land. The two teams agreed that the first to cross the lake and touch the land would become ruler of the land. O’Neill’s boat was falling behind so a member of the crew grabbed his own sword, cut off his hand and threw it ashore, winning the title to rule the land. This land still remains in the family.
2009 Vintage Tasting Notes
The 2009 Sinister Hand has a clear, garnet color bearing beautiful wild strawberry, tayberry, and black pepper with red and black currant notes. Precise on the palate with satisfying acid that provides a framework for the ripe black fruit and baked brown earth finish.
The Grenache lends festive red fruit while the Syrah and Mouvedre add savory notes: stewed dark fruits, sweet herb and complex earthiness. Yumm.
2008 Vintage Tasting Notes
Owen Roe's Sinister Hand is an exhuberant, lush, lively, juicy blend of Rhone varietals. It is traditionally a blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre from several Yakima area vineyards.
"Our primary source for this wine is Dr. Steve Elerding’s vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills, where the proximity of the Columbia River is a vital part of the success of these traditional Rhone varietals. This wine is very dark with fruit flavors, pepper and an excellent texture. The blend is 62% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 3% Mourvedre." - the winery
2007 Vintage Tasting Notes
Owen Roe's Sinister Hand 2007 is rich and full-bodied. Dark purple in color, with a nose of sweet spice box and white pepper, the wine coats the palate with fresh fruit - sweet red and black cherries, black currant, and blackberries. Smooth and integrated tannins in the finish contain abundant dried cherry, white pepper, cassis, and just a hint of brine and minerals.
The Sinister Hand 2007 combines its usual intense, fleshy, generous qualities with the fresh fruit flavors and balance of the vintage. For 2007, the blend is 62% Grenache, 21% Syrah, and 16% Mourvedre from several Yakima, Washington area vineyards.
Highly recommended - ready to drink, crowd pleasing, generously plump and fleshy yet appropriate to pair with foods such as grilled meat, sausage, and cassoulet.
2006 Vintage Tasting Notes
This dark ruby colored, opaque wine's flavors of sweet blackberry, cherry, and dried cherries are heady, fleshy, and fruity -- characteristic of the Grenache in the blend. Hints of sweet cinnamon and richness. One of the things we like most about the Sinister Hand's style every year is the way the wine expands in the mouth, offering additional lively sweet fruit and spice in a long finish.
2005 Vintage Tasting Notes
Every year, this wine is an exhuberant, lush, lively, juicy blend of Rhone varietals. This year it's 52% Grenache, 39% Syrah, 7% Mourvedre, and 2% Counoise, all from Elerding Vineyard in Washington.
The nose is appealingly bright and fresh, and the flavors are classic Rhone, with great lively, uplifting notes of red fruit. Flavors are of bright, red and black fruits, with lots of white pepper, good acidity and tannins and nothing out of place. Very well made and balanced. There's lots of "back of the mouth" feel in the finish. -jy
2004 Vintage Tasting Notes
Very limited this vintage. Lots and lots of different black fruit and spice flavors with a rich texture and almost liquor-like richness. Blend is 36% grenache, 32% syrah, 22% mourvedre, and 10% counoise. All grapes from the Elerding Vineyard in Alderdale, OR.
David says: "All of the fruit is from Steve Elerding's Vineyard in Alderdale in the Mid-Columbia Valley where the Rhone varieties seem to have found a home. The area is just off the Columbia River and so both the summer heat and winter cold are moderated resulting in a long growing season that highlight the edgy personalities of each of the Rhone varietals. This Rhone-styled wine is very dark with enormous fruit flavors and pepper with excellent texture - it will work well with a variety of foods especially spicy fare and dark meats."
"The label is a depiction of a severed left hand that tells the story of a rowing competition among the O'Neills and O'Reillys (Owen Roe was an O'Neill). Whoever touched land first after rowing across the lake was rewarded with the land he touched. Lagging behind, one of the kinsfolk grabs his sword and cleaves his hand and pitches it ashore to touch land first. He won the land and eventually ruled over it as king."
"This year's version has more Grenache and is more fragrant and polished than the previous vintages. It will stand proud against all comers from Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Violet perfume and dark fruits meld nicely with peppery Syrah. A keeper for ten years plus!"