Wine Review – 2007 Owen Roe “Sinister Hand” GSM Blend, Washington

You have to love the label.  Be sure to read the story behind the label on their website.  Ssssscary!

You have to love the label. Be sure to read the story behind the label on their website. Ssssscary!

Winery: Owen Roe Winery

Bottling: 2007 Owen Roe “Sinister Hand” Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre  Blend

Region: Washington

Sub-Region: Columbia Valley

Estimated Retail Price: $23.00 – $28.00

My Purchase Details: Purchased the bottle at The Woodland Hills Wine Co. for $23.99 + tax.  If you are in HI, I don’t believe their wines are distributed here.

Tasting Environment: Had with Vietnamese food; spring rolls, shaken beef salad, and some fried dish I forgot about.

Tasting Notes: We were very impressed by the elegance and the texture of this wine.  Really smooth, light and caressing tannins made the wine have an almost airy feel for a red.  Silky, yes.  Plush, yes.  Raspberry and white chocolate, covered with a smattering of white and black pepper and sweet cherry were the flavors swishing around in our mouths.  This was a wine that said “hello, I’m here, but go ahead and continue your conversation.”  A little bit of an attention getter, but non-obtrusive.

A very intriguing wine based on the blend and the source of the wine.  This is the first GSM I’ve had from Washington and in fact, until this bottle, I never knew GSMs were being made in the Pacific Northwest.  It’s a pretty unique wine and a lot different than GSMs from other regions noted for GSM blends, like Australia, Santa Barbara, CA the Rhone and Southern France.

Food and Context in Which to Enjoy: The tasting notes on the winery’s website states that the wine would go well with spicy foods and dark meats.  The wine’s nice acid backbone underneath all that fruit and texture also lent it some flexibility to pair well with our Vietnamese meal.  I was really surprised that it stood up to some of the acid (vinegar) present in the dishes.  I’d add Asian food to the list of foods that go well with this wine.  Drinking without food or a nice gift to someone who appreciates artisan wines are other good uses for The Sinister Hand

Winery Background: Artisan winery Owen Roe produces a broad selection of wines that represent everything that Washington does well.  Cab franc, cab sauv, merlot based blends, pinot gris and even riesling.  You name it they have it.

This quote from their website sums up their wine making style pretty accurately – “We have selected top quality grapes from vineyards chosen because they are in areas that ripen fruit fully, and the fruit has excellent acidity and ph balance.”

I feel like the Sinister Hand is a good literal translation of their mission.  I can’t wait to try their other bottlings, if I can find them.


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