2013 Owen Roe Sinister Hand – An Evil Good Wine

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IMG_2439Owen Roe Winery ? 2013 Sinister Hand (Columbia Valley)
64% Grenach, 16% Syrah, 12% Mourvedre, 8% Cinsault

Each year, Sinister Hand proves that French Rhone-style wines can be made in true Northwest fashion with strength, beauty and consistency. Using the same fruit, varying only the percentages, each vintage promises enjoyment. The 2013 is no different, and might just be one of the best Sinister Hand vintages I?ve yet to taste.

The satisfyingly dense garnet color first captures your imagination, hypnotizing you, as you get lost swirling in the depth. Ripe and juicy plum, succulent blueberries take over your mouth with the first sip, followed by a pleasant stony minerality on the mid-palate and a delightful lingering finish of raspberry jam, cherry cola and baking chocolate.

There is absolutely nothing evil about this wine, except maybe the label, which particularly appeals to the dark part of my personality. When the wine shelves are fully of wines?featuring cute critter labels, a bloody hand is sure to catch your eye. Yeah, you?ll look twice, and be glad you did. Legend has it, back in 11th century Ireland, a rowing competition for land took place between the O?Neil and the O?Reilly families. The first person to cross the lake and touch land would lay claim to the contested land. As the O?Reilly boat was in the lead, Owen Roe O?Neil used?his own sword to cut off his hand and threw his?severed limb onto the shore, winning at nearly all costs. The O?Neils were declared the rulers and still own the land today. The label, which has become part of the family crest, shows the hand of the legendary Owen Roe O?Neil, the wine is made by winemaker David O?Reilly?how?s that for keeping it all in the family?

Wine that’s perfect for Halloween, blustery autumn days and stormy winter nights. Really, the wine is just perfect. And it would be positively sinister if I didn?t encourage you to go buy a bottle.

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