Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Here is an Irish blessing for you:
Remember to Forget
Always remember to forget
The things that made you sad.
But never forget to remember
The things that made you glad.
That is something I handle well with wine… I never forget to remember the wines that made me glad. 🙂
While today’s wine is not Irish, it’s made by a gentleman named David O’Reilly at a winery named Owen Roe (I’m guessing there’s some Irish there). 😉
Since it is still Washington Wine Month, it’s only fitting I introduce you to another of my tried-and-true go-to wines (wow, that was a heckuva lotta hyphens): Owen Roe 2020 Ex Umbris Syrah Columbia Valley.
The first time I had Owen Roe wines was at a now defunct wine bar in Fremont. This was among my earlier wine tasting experiences and I just loved every single Owen Roe wine I had, and took home most of them, including the Ex Umbris Syrah. Ex Umbris is Latin for “out of the shadows.”
Here were my tasting notes on the 2010 Ex Umbris:
“Virtually flawless Syrah. Delectable. I want more!”
And, amazingly, I still share those same sentiments in 2023!
According to the winemaker, Ex Umbris was first made in 2002 “… after a wild fire struck the vineyard’s surrounding hillsides. The residual ash and smoke resonated in the Syrah grapes, creating a very memorable wine.” Thus they produce this Syrah every year in keeping with the style of the first vintage. Just to be clear, this does not mean you taste wildfire smoke, not at all.
This is one of my all-time favorite Syrahs, Washington or otherwise. I keep going back to it because it is consistently great and at a very comfortable price for such a high quality wine. Everyone I’ve recommended it to or gifted it to has loved it. And the wine doesn’t lie – winemaker David O’Reilly carefully selects only premium Syrah grapes from top Washington vineyards in Columbia, Yakima, and Walla Walla Valleys for this wine.
Here are the details and my impressions of the wine:
- $17.47/bottle at Total Wine, slightly less at Costco, $21.00 at winery
- Deep ruby color
- Full body, 14.1% ABV, mostly dry
- Aromas/Flavors: Plum, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, pepper, clay, floral
- Lush, full fruit flavors, touch of spice, vanilla on the palate
- Soft yet strong background tannins that offer good support in the wine
- Good, balanced presence of acidity
- Long-lasting, gentle finish
In sum, this is a fantastic introductory teaser to the epic level of quality that Washington Syrah can achieve.
I really need to do a road trip and visit their tasting room in Wapato, WA. Not only do they specialize in Washington reds like Syrahs, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc., but also in Oregon reds like Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs. Some of the best of both states, and my top favorite types of wine. But alas, when? Think I’ll go pine away for now….
Anyway, you can purchase Ex Umbris Syrah at Total Wine and certain Costco locations, and obviously through the winery itself. In fact, if you’re a really big fan, you can purchase a case of Ex Umbris directly through the winery and each bottle comes to about $12.42/bottle (before tax, etc.). Unbelievable! (Sadly, this option is sold out at the moment). 😦
So for those of you who prefer red wine to green beer, Guinness, or Bailey’s, raise a glass of Ex Umbris Syrah and proclaim, Sláinte!
1. Cavoto, Erin, “50 Best Irish Blessings to Read Aloud on St. Patrick’s Day”, The Pioneer Woman, March 1, 2023, accessed March 15, 2023, https://www.thepioneerwoman.com/holidays-celebrations/g35219151/traditional-irish-blessings-prayers/?slide=14