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Owen Roe

Owen Roe Owen Roe is devoted to producing the most intense wines possible from great vineyards in the Pacific Northwest. It is a partnership between Jerry Owen, who closely monitors the vineyards, and David O'Reilly, who makes the wine. Grapes are sourced from excellent vineyards in the Willamette, Mid-Columbia, Yakima, and Walla Walla Valleys. Each vineyard is carefully chosen in areas that ripen fruit fully, however, have excellent acidity and pH balance. They are contracted by the acre with strict controls on yields and vine balance. The protocol in the winery follows, similarly tight controls, so that the vineyard is allowed to shine - minimal handling, racking by gravity, and excellent cooperage greet the fruit. There are three levels to the Owen Roe product line: the O'Reilly's, the Owen Roe woodcut label, and the high-end vineyard-designate photograph Owen Roe label. The O'Reilly's represents a great value. The vineyards and wines are treated with the same devotion as the most expensive Owen Roe wines. The Pinot Gris is stainless steel fermented, and the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are aged in barrels averaging 3 to 4 years old. The wines are noted for being fruit forward and tasty at a young age. The Owen Roe woodcut is a woodcut of Clough Oughter castle in County Cavan, Ireland - the ancestral home of the O'Reillys. It was from here that Owen Roe O'Neill fought for Irish freedom against the forces of Charles the First and then the Puritan Cromwell. Unable to capture Owen Roe, Cromwell poisoned him at the castle, where he died in 1649. The wines under this label are rich and accessible. Hand printed photographs of old Ireland captured by Portland artist David K. Brunn grace each of Owen Roe's finest wines. They are available at Tomassi Studios. It is these Owen Roe wines that are proudly presented as the finest of their types: In the Yakima Valley - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah from DuBrul Vineyard, and Owen Roe Cabernet Franc from Roza Hills Vineyard. In the Willamette Valley - Pinot Gris and Chardonnay from Casa Blanca Vineyard, and Pinot Noirs from Cummin's Ridge and Kalita Vineyards.


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2761 E 9th Street, Newberg, OR, US, 97132 Email:
Phone: 503-678-6514 Web:
Fax: 503-678-5342
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  “Sharecropper’s” Cabernet Sauvignon
The Sharecropper’s label debuts with this delicious Pinot Noir and follows up with a dynamite Cabernet Sauvignon. With an oversupply of grapes we decided to put some excess first rate fruit into neutral barrels and essentially split the profits with the vineyards. This label hearkens to the spirit of the original sharecropping ideal of a partnership between landowners and the laborers who toiled producing the crops. All the fruit for the Cabernet Sauvignon is from Dr. Steve Elerding’s Six Prong Vineyard in Alderdale, WA. Very rich and forward with fresh berry notes and with excellent cellaring potential. We really could have sold this for twice the price.
  2003 “Sharecropper’s” Pinot Noir
The Pinot Noir is from several premium Willamette Valley Vineyards: Casa Blanca Vineyard in Eola Hills, Kalita Vineyard in Yamhill, and Cummin’s Ridge Vineyard in Carlton. Expressive of the very warm 2003 vintage in Oregon.
  2003 Cabernet Franc “Rosa Mystica Block”
This delightful grape variety exhibits general characteristics of fragrant cedar, tobacco, and bright berry. However, each growing area – whether The Loire, St. Emilion and Pomerol, or here in the western cooler regions of Yakima Valley – gives its own flavor imprint to the wine. The Rosa Mystica Block of Roza Hills Vineyard is situated on a hillside high in western Yakima Valley. The vineyard ripened its small crop in late October and yielded wonderfully rich fruit flavors with natural balanced acidity. Once in the winery, we’re careful not to employ too much oak and try to gently coax characteristics that are expressive of this fragrant and complex varietal. This 2003 wine has all the hallmarks of a world-class Cabernet Franc. Its ripeness and power do not overshadow the delicacy of cedar fragrance, olives, and beautiful berry fruit.
  2003 Cabernet Sauvignon “Ironbird Vineyard”
The annual release of Cabernet Sauvignon from Bob and Barbara Finley’s Ironbird Vineyard is always greatly anticipated. Their tiny vineyard in Southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley is Oregon Tilth Certified which means that they have used no artificial materials in their farming practices. The area boasts a rich native habitat – so the good bugs have not been wiped out by insecticides and are busy dining on the critters that would destroy our prized fruit. The 2003 vintage in Applegate Valley was long, with the summer sun hidden by smoke from the largest wildfires in Oregon’s recent history. The fruit arrived at the winery in November and had the sort of great blackberry flavors and balanced acidity – so the aging potential looks great. 92 cases produced.
  2003 O’Reilly’s Pinot Noir
Each year when asked which is my favorite wine of the vintage, I unhesitatingly blurt out that the O’Reilly’s Pinot Noir wins hands down, simply because it’s almost impossible to find a Pinot Noir from anywhere with this much character at this price. The fruit is farmed identically to the Owen Roe single vineyard offerings, and many blocks end up in the O’Reilly’s blend simply because they do not fit in the style of Owen Roe. As a result, the O’Reilly’s Pinot Noir is an incredible bargain if it was twice the price. The 2003 vintage was the warmest in modern Oregon winemaking history. We had plenty of late spring heat, and the unusually warm summer ripened the fruit a full 4 weeks early. The 2003 O’Reilly’s is dark and rich with its’ characteristic fragrance.
  2003 O’Reilly’s Riesling
The Riesling grapes came from two small blocks in Northern Yakima Valley. Both Roza Hills Vineyard and DuBrul Vineyard yielded very balanced fruit with some intriguing tropical and spicy flavors. Naturally high in acidity, the wine is nicely balanced at 1.5% residual sugar. Excellent with Asian fare or fresh fruit, or simply served chilled on a warm day. 429 cases produced
  2003 Pinot Noir “Cummin’s Ridge Vineyard”
This beautiful Pinot Noir comes from of 2 ½ barrels of wine from grapes grown at the top of Cummin’s Ridge Vineyard. Located on the east side of Cummin's Ridge, rising low between McMinnville and Yamhill in Oregon's beautiful Willamette Valley, this site has yielded some of the tastiest Pinot Noir that we have seen. Bob Hanson uses enlightened farming practices to produce crop sizes that are among the lowest in the Valley and consequently flavors that are intense. Mostly Wadensvil clone, the 63 cases of this Pinot Noir represent the meager yield from this 2.4 acre block.
  2003 Sinister Hand
The Sinister Hand is a blend of 60% Syrah, 16% Grenache, 13% Counoise, 11% Mourvedre. The majority 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, so both the summer heat and winter cold are moderated, resulting in a long growing season that highlights the edgy personalities of each of the Rhone varietals. This Rhone-styled wine is very dark with enormous fruit flavors and pepper, and 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, which 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 grabbed his sword and cleaved his hand, pitching it ashore to touch land first. He won the land and eventually ruled over it as king.
  2003 Syrah “DuBrul Vineyard”
As many of you know, one of our favorite vineyards is Hugh and Kathy Shiels’ DuBrul Vineyard! It is located in northern Yakima Valley on a small outcropping in the Rattlesnake Hills. This fascinating area was carved out by cataclysmic flooding from Glacial Lake Missoula. There are areas with lunar-like exposed basalt rock, and throughout The Rattlesnake Hills the rocky landscape has deposits of rocks with imbedded shells from the lake bottom mixed with sedimentary soils and volcanic ash. This years DuBrul Vineyard Syrah is just as dramatic as its environs – huge berry notes with exotic lavender aromas and the most concentrated flavors and peppery spice of any Syrah that we have produced to date.
  Abbot’s Table
This is the most popular Owen Roe wine and for good reason. It is such a rich, yet easy drinking red wine that can be paired with the broadest range of foods. The Zinfandel component pairs beautifully with zesty Italian fare. The Bordeaux varieties scream for hearty beef dishes. While the Pinot Noir makes the Abbot’s Table perfect with lamb and game. Of course, the Syrah and Grenache work masterfully with spicy cuisine. Then again, the Abbot’s Table just tastes great by itself. Abbot’s Table is inspired by what the English call Claret – a rich red blend from Bordeaux. The Anglo/Bordelais wine trade of Claret (Clairet or clear wine) dates back to medieval times when the wine was pale in color from a shorter time on the red skins (ours is definitely not light in color). While just over half of the blend of Abbot’s Table is the Bordeaux varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc - it’s the non-traditional Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Grenache, and Syrah that make this wine so drinkable.
  Cabernet Franc “Rosa Mystica”
This delightful grape variety exhibits characteristics of fragrant cedar, tobacco, and bright berry, however, each growing area – whether The Loire, St. Emilion, Pomerol, or here in the western cooler regions of Yakima Valley – imparts its own distinct identity. This Rosa Mystica Cabernet Franc has elements of old-world charm and fragrance, yet its bright berry and plush richness is all new world. The three vineyards are situated on hillsides high in the western Yakima Valley. Ripening their small crops in late October, the vineyards yielded wonderfully rich fruit flavors with nice acidity. In the winery, we’ve been careful not to employ too much new oak, trying to gently coax characteristics that are expressive of this fragrant and complex varietal. This 2004 wine has all the hallmarks of a world-class Cabernet Franc and its ripeness and power do not overshadow the delicacy of its cedar fragrance, olives and beautiful berry fruit.
  O’Reilly’s Chardonnay
Great fruit and acidity – an excellent example of what caliber of Chardonnay can come out of Oregon – all the grapes were the early ripening Dijon clones. The fruit for the O’Reilly’s Chardonnay is from Jerry Owen’s Saint Columban Vineyard and Casa Blanca Vineyard near Amity. More exuberant than prior vintages due to the lovely, hot summer in 2004 - Rich texture and fresh melon and pineapple-like fruitiness with a tasty vanilla finish. 2/3 of the wine was fermented in stainless steel - a refreshing alternative to overblown Chardonnays.
  O’Reilly’s Pinot Gris
The 2005 Pinot Gris is a classic Oregon Gris – plenty of limey aromas with rich guava-like flavors. Hallmark acidity will preserve this white in your cellar for up to five years. The grapes were harvested from a few diverse sites in the Willamette Valley: Dennis Peseau and Jim Thomas’s Eola Springs Vineyard in Eola Hills, John and Nancy McClintock’s Vineyard on top of Dundee Hills, and Jerry Owen’s Saint Columban Vineyard in the Valley. This ripe and flavorful Pinot Gris is delicious with fresh shellfish and a variety of light fare.
  Pinot Noir “The Kilmore”
What we have achieved with The Kilmore Pinot Noir is very site specific. This 11 barrel lot is mostly Pommard clone Pinot Noir and is evenly split between Bob Hanson’s Cummin’s Ridge Vineyard and the Kalita Vineyard owned by Arthur and Sherri Kalita. Each site is in the new appellation called the Yamhill/Carlton District where the Willakenzie soil type uniquely shapes the wines from fruit grown there. The wines are rich and full bodied with black fruits and dark coffee. This ripe 2004 Pinot Noir is very rich and fragrant with a violet perfume and black fruit and coffee notes on the palate.
  Riesling “DuBrul Vineyard”
No cellar is complete without this exceptional Riesling that will age beautifully for at least twenty years. We bottled using Stelvin screwcap enclosures to guarantee freshness and agebility. Naturally high in acidity, it is balanced and crisp at 1.5% residual sugar. Excellent with Asian fare or simply served chilled on a warm day.
  Syrah "Lady Rosa"
The grapes for the Lady Rosa Syrah are from DuBrul Vineyard and the Rosa Mystica Block. The soils in this area known as Roza Hills, have area of wide swatches of small stones where the Syrah grapes have blossomed. This small area has proven to yield ethereal Syrah grapes that have wonderfully rich fruit flavors with fragrant violets. 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. Her epitaph reads: “Lady Rosa -widow of Don Eugenio O’Neill - The General of the Irish”
  Syrah Ex Umbris
Latin for “out of the shadows”, this wine was originally crafted to express the smoky notes imparted to the Syrah grapes by a raging wildfire. One of the characteristics of this noble grape is its inherent smokiness, a flavor that comes through even without Mother Nature’s assistance. The Bruce Morford’s Slide Mountain Vineyard in western Yakima Valley has yielded a 2004 Syrah with tremendous richness, balancing the cooler, smoky Lewis Vineyard in The Dalles, while the Elerding in Alderdale, WA has provided unctuous fruitiness. A fabulously aromatic and full-bodied Syrah! 2004 was a first rate Syrah vintage and this exemplifies all the fragrance, texture, and deep plum/gamey characteristics of great Syrah.
  Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon
This Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine is from the famed Walla Walla appellation and is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc. The Cabernet Sauvignon is from a mature block of Norm McKibbon’s Seven Hills Vineyard. The Merlot and Cabernet Franc is from Saint Isidore Vineyard on a stunning bluff about 4 miles west of Seven Hills. This is the complement to our Yakima Valley Red Wine which is Merlot and Cabernet Franc based. Here, the vineyards ripen their grapes fully because Cabernet Sauvignon requires more heat than the former grapes and will still retain nice pH and acid balance. This 2003 Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon shows plenty of blackberry and cedar flavors and aromas. It offers immediate pleasure and will benefit with up to ten years of cool cellaring.
  Yakima Valley Red Wine
DuBrul Vineyard, Rosa Mystica Block, and Slide Mountain Vineyard from the cooler, western end of the Yakima Valley have provided the Merlot and Cabernet Franc fruit in this wine. The warmer Elerding Vineyard farther east gave us the tasty and ripe Cabernet Sauvignon. The Yakima Valley Red Wine is designed to showcase that a world-class Merlot and Cabernet Franc based Bordeaux blend can be obtained from this remarkable growing area. This might be our favorite style of wine - the bright berry flavor of the Merlot and fragrant notes of the Cabernet Franc are wonderfully framed with the structure and acidity of the Cabernet Sauvignon. All in all, this is a marvelously complex Bordeaux-styled red blend.
  Zinfandel, Hillside Vineyard, Lewis Vineyard
This monster Zin at 16.8% alcohol is one of our most distinct wines of the vintage. It is at once huge with incredible fruit flavors yet it has absolutely delightful fragrance and textures. Lonnie Wright provided us with all of the Zinfandel from Harold Haake’s Hillside Vineyard in The Dalles. We also added a touch of Syrah from Lewis Vineyard also in The Dalles, which is also meticulously farmed by Lonnie. This is the only Zinfandel bottled by Owen Roe in 3 years and this vintage is simply labeled as Columbia Valley Zinfandel.


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