While tasting the latest bold 2011 Ex Umbris Syrah release from Owen Roe this weekend, I was lucky enough to savor the last of my Owen Roe Cabernet Sauvignon, Dubrul Vineyard ’03 from Yakima Valley in Washington. I was always asked how these wines would age, and it’s reassuring to say…stunningly! David O’Reilly is now well-known as a master grower and winemaker, by collector’s of Washington wine, thanks to his decade of awards. David had a great run of Cabernet from the DuBrul site, and those wines just keep getting better with age.
Owen Roe made about 100 cases from this small vineyard high up on the north side of the Yakima Valleywhere extreme heat and cold stress the grapes and produce tiny amounts of intensely concentrated fruit. I loved this wine shortly after it’s 2006 release (with at least one hour of decanting at the time), and it has put on fabulous weight and texture, with another 7 years of storage.
With this added maturity, the wine unfolds its flavors in waves. As you sip, you are washed over by distinct flavor notes, and when they recede, in minutes a new wave will come in with a bold, but different flavor. The volume of these distinct flavors is stunning. The wine shows absolutely precise and powerful notes of wood spice/cedar box, fresh roasted coffee, black currant, blackberry, herb and dusty cocoa, with saddle leather and a forest floor note. It is an absolutely massive wine, dark and opaque, but it comes across as elegant and nimble thanks to the near perfect acid balance, keeping it lively. The finish is long and harmonious, beautifully balanced, and concentrated. And I love looking at Owen Roe’s beautiful labels- just gorgeous, and yes- it did get better!