Review: 2007 Sinister Hand by Owen Row winery
January 17, 2009 by Josh LaRosee
- 2007 Sinister Hand, Owen Roe winery (www.owenroe.com)
- 62% Grenache, 21% Syrah, 17% Mourvedre (Rho-no!)
- Region: Columbia Valley
- Produced in Sunnyside, WA
- Alcohol: 14.1%
- Price: $23.00 – $25.00
Wickedly simple is the package for Owen Roe winery’s 2007 Sinister Hand release, with it’s minimalist, clean, rectangular orientation, and a severed, blood-oozing armor-clad hand. Though Owen Roe winery is in Oregon, owners/winemakers Jerry Owen and David O’Reilly have sourced fruit from the Columbia Valley here in Washington to create a textured and well-balanced experience. Well done, Oregon!
After uncorking through the wax seal (always a nice touch), I managed to let the first glass and bottle to sit while the seasoned pot roast and potatos did their thing. Apparently, I wasn’t in too much of a hurry to get the party started and I think, I think, it paid off. In the mean time, I devised a series of rules for this wine and this meal. Behold! Rule 1) “A single swill before the first bite of thy meal. Only one so make it big, make it count.” Rule 2) “You don’t talk about fight club.” Rule 3) “Only after you have a full understanding of the essence of thy meal, the seasoning, textures, aftertastes, only then may you proceed with the wine.” The rules were about giving the wine the fairest of fields to play. Plenty of time to breath and shake off anything the bottle might have imposed these past two years. What can I say, I play fair.
The color of this wine is nothing to get excited about, other than the vibrant hues of magenta.
After working the meal for a bit, the succulent overly-seasoned roast, creamy mashed potatoes and homemade gravy, and steamed asparagus, it was time to bring the severed hand into the mix, as it were. Being this wine has the makings of something spicey, I decided to follow up the pot roast with a swig.
The olfactory explodes with reduced raspberries, fresh smoked jerky, beauty bark, licorice, and coffee, while the palate raps with a little heat (14.1%, give or take) and a silky finish. After a few more gulps the balance of the Hand begins to show, even without the food as support. Acid-forward, the fruit works the middle palate to bring what little tannin there is together, leveling it all out for a nice, though not overly long, finish. The wine’s structure is stable but not rock solid. But let’s put it this way: if someone were to throw this wine’s structure at your head, you should probably duck.
The nose! Leather, cedar. Mint or eucalyptus, rhubarb, red fruit and a big of gaminess. It’s an exciting nose if you’re a fan of Da Funk.
All in all, a really nice effort by the Owen Roe boys in Oregon. At around $24.00 the QPR is somewhere in the range of average for a Northwest wine. The packaging is arresting, which is what got me to pick up the bottle in the first place. Sick and arresting.