And now we have another great Walla Walla wine from the "Taste My Vacation" wine tasting, the 2008 Reininger Mr. Owl's Red wine! Now you might wonder about the funny name, and when you hear the story, you'll probably fall in love with the winery and the family that owns it, as it's quite endearing. This wine is named for Reininger's cellar master Raul, but unfortunately when the winery owners' children were young, that had a difficult time pronouncing his name, so they ended up calling him "Mr. Owl"! And thus when they wanted to craft a wine and name it after him, they choice of "Mr. Owl's Red" was perfectly logical!
The wine itself is a blend of mainly Merlot (88%), Syrah (7%) and Sangiovese (5%), and it's that latter that I believe provides some lovely differentiation to this wine. The color is a lovely deep purple in the glass, and the nose exudes leather, oak and plum. The taste is fruit forward as you might expect with a blend dominated by Merlot, but the initial burst of red berries and plum, give way to a spiciness, of cinnamon and anise, which is not surprising with the addition of some Sangiovese into the blend. I found the tannins to be somewhat subtle and earthy, which gave this wine a long, mellow finish.
Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, as it was a really lovely wine, but the only thing holding it back was the price, which at $30 might preclude this from everyday drinking, but perfect for a special occasion. The wine paired very nicely with some of the soft cheeses we had at the tasting as well as the green olives, but it would also pair well with a rare grilled steak as well! Salut!