Delicious wines from Washington’s versatile Yakima Valley

By on April 12, 2015

Owen Roe 2012 Red Willow Vineyard Chapel Block Syrah, Yakima Valley, $55

owen-roe-red-willow-vineyard-chapel-block-syrah-2012-bottleThe spring of 2016 will mark the 30th anniversary of the first Syrah plantings in Washington state, orchestrated at Red Willow Vineyard by Columbia Winery maestro David Lake, and Owen Roe vintner David O’Reilly may well have received some applause from the late Master of Wine for this effort. Owner/grower Mike Sauer was so inspired by the history of the Rhône Valley that he built a tribute to the Monsignor Chapel using stones cleared from the hill that this Washington wine country icon sits atop. O’Reilly’s latest expression with that block of Syrah ranks as a quintessential example from start to finish, opening with appealing aromas of Marionberry, blueberry, light chocolate and toast, joined by cured meat, black olive, allspice and toast. The pour brings flavors hinting at plum, elderberry and black currant, backed with chocolate-covered pomegranate. Its structure is full and round amid bittersweet chocolate tannins and food-friendly acidity for a rich farewell.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 490 cases

Alcohol: 15.1%

Winery website

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About Great Northwest Wine

Articles credited to Great Northwest Wine are authored by Eric Degerman and other contributors. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.


  1. Paul Cockrell says:

    Obviously there is a typo. How many cases does Palencia produce?

    • Andy Perdue says:


      For his day job at J&S Crushing/Columbia River’s Edge Winery in Mattawa, Wash., Victor Palencia oversees more than 1 million cases in wine production. For Palencia Winery, he makes about 3,000 cases total.

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