O’Reilly’s Oregon Value Pinots
David O’Reilly is one lucky Irishman - he makes his living by drinking. A native of Belfast, Ireland, O’Reilly
came with his family to Canada, subsequently worked at a small winery while attending college and went on to
start his winemaking career at Elk Cove Winery. He met Peter Rosback, another lover of wine of Irish heritage,
and together they left Elk Cove Winery in 1998 to start Sineann. O’Reilly was also to form a partnership with
viticulturist Jerry Owen known as Owen Roe, which is the name of a 17th century Irish patriot who dedicated
his life to upholding the highest principles of political equality and freedom. Together they also founded two
value oriented wine labels, O’Reilly’s and Sharecropper’s, which have been produced by O’Reilly for over ten
years. These wines are made from Pacific Northwest juice that doesn’t quite fit the recipe for Owen Roe wines.
These two wines are among the first releases from the stellar 2008 vintage in Oregon and show a tad better
balance and more pleasing textures than the 2007 versions.
2008 O’Reilly’s Oregon Pinot Noir
13.0% alc., $17. This wine is
consistently one of Oregon’s favorites in the under $20 price range.
The Irish wolfhound on the label was a pub dog at an Irish restaurant
and bar that O’Reilly’s cousin owns in San Francisco. Aged in 3 and 4
year old oak barrels.
A shy and refined aromatic profile of dark berries
with a hint of spice. I liken it to fruit in a tuxedo. Tasty dark red fruits
with a hint of oak framed by fuzzy tannins and ending in a dry finish. A bright
and charming wine that works as a go-to drinker.
2008 Owen Roe Sharecropper’s Oregon Pinot Noir
Deep ruby color. Amazing nose of crushed berries with a lovely
roseate accent and some subtle oak toast in the background. Light in
style and soft in texture with more restrained acidity than the 2007
version. Earth and oak notes in the background augment the berry
flavors. A little lacking in the short finish, but overall this is a very
pleasant drink for the tariff.
Both of these wines enjoy wide retail distribution but availability is reduced because production in 2008 was
decreased by 25%.