We’ve come to Day 2 of our 12 Days of Wine! Today’s wine is from Owen Roe Winery and it’s kinda special. This is the 2015 Syrah Chapel Block. Yes…I know, another Syrah. Well, we happen to like Syrah and as I mentioned this one is special to us.
The Chapel Block – Red Willow Vineyard
Red Willow Vineyard is in the Yakima Valley, and within it sits the very special Chapel Block. We were lucky enough to visit and spend an evening watching the sunset with vineyard owner/grower Mike Sauer and his son Jonathan.
So many of the vineyards in the Yakima Valley are easily accessible along Interstate 82. It’s a bit more work to get to Red Willow. Southwest of the City of Yakima, you must travel West from Wapato. It is 14 miles through large blocks of agricultural land that seems to go on forever. Far in the distance Mt. Adams rises.
We arrived before sunset and Jonathan Sauer took us up to the Chapel Block. The Chapel stands on the top of a hill with slopes on each side planted to wine grapes. That syrah grows in sight of the Chapel is no mistake. The building harkens back to the Chapel of Hermitage in France’s Northern Rhône where Syrah is king.
While we were there, we saw blocks labeled for wineries, one of which was for Owen Roe. This was where the Syrah for this wine originated from. The Chapel Block, with it’s iconic Chapel is well known for highly prized fruit in the Yakima Valley. The care and pride that the Sauers put into the fruit they grow, shows in the final wine. You can read a bit about our magical evening with them here
Owen Roe 2015 Syrah Chapel Block (Red Willow Vineyard)
So, we do have a progression here from yesterday’s wine. This is from the other end of the Yakima Valley and it is 2 years younger. It was aged 10 months in 47% new oak. It sits at 14.1% abv and will set you back $55.
The color on this was a bit bluer and the rim a little less (2 years younger will do that). Blueberry, blackberry and a bit of orange zest come out, blended with notes of leather, tobacco and a bit of wet stone.
We again hit the bleu and gouda to pair with this. I found raspberries and cherries to pair nicely. (hmm…cherries and the Chapel block…that just makes me happy to think about)
More on Owen Roe
We visited Owen Roe and met with then Owner David O’Reilly in October of 2018. Recently he has sold the winery, though he is still overseeing operations. We are always sad to see a winery sold, most especially when it is to a larger organization. We hope that as David is staying on, not just with Owen Roe, but will be taking a place within Vintage Estates a a regional director, the winery will continue in it’s quality and uniqueness.
For more details on Owen Roe Winery you can visit these posts
- Owen Roe’s Union Gap Vineyard – A Tour with David O’Reilly
- Full Fermentation Bins! A Walk Inside Owen Roe Winery at Harvest
- Cabernet Franc Day – Rosa Mystica Cabernet Franc
More on the Yakima Valley
We have fallen a little in love with this valley. As such, we have a list of pieces and additional places you can get information on Washington’s Yakima Valley wine region.
- Wine Yakima Valley
- The Scenic Route – Flash Tour 2019 – Naches Heights and Yakima Valley
- The Scenic Route – Flash Tour 2019 – Columbia Gorge to the Yakima Valley
- Yakima Valley Seminar
- Elephant Mountain Vineyard in Yakima Valley’s Rattlsnake Hills
You can also visit Wine Yakima Valley‘s site for maps and details.
On to Day 3!
2 down 10 more coming your way! Don’t miss tomorrow’s reveal as we march on with our 12 Days of Wine Celebration!
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You know we love this choice and couldn’t agree more. Excited to see the rest of your picks!
We are kind of on an Owen Roe kick these days, aren’t we? It’s a great winery and I just so love the Red Willow Vineyard. The Sauers are such amazing people, who take such pride in the fruit they grow. They have such a history in the Yakima Valley. The wine world would look much different if they had not chosen to move into wine grapes! The influence that they had on the grapes of this region cannot be denied.