Wine of the Week: 2014 Sinister Hand • Yakima Valley, WA

2014 Sinister Hand • Yakima Valley, WA

Every wine has a story. But this wine and this story is what legends are made of. It is the kind of story that would make Edgar Allen Poe smirk at the shivers riding down the back of your spine.  The blood-dripping severed hand on the label belongs to an Irish patriot by the name of Owen Roe O’Neill. Legend has it that hundreds of years ago, there were two rivaling Irish families: the aforementioned O’Neill’s and the David O’Reilly’s. The families—both coveting the same piece of prime real estate—were divided into two teams. The first family to row across the lake and touch the prized property with his lucky Irish hand would become the Lord of the Land. After a time, O’Neill’s boat fell behind, whereby a crewmember drew his sword, cut off his hand and threw it ashore—thus staking the O’Neill clan’s claim to the land. But getting back to the wine. This is a red blend of the holy trinity grapes – GSM – 41% Grenache, 27% Syrah, 18% Mourvedre, and just to create some spice, 12% Cinsault. It’s an excellent Rhone blend of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape genre. Look for lush and bold red fruit from dark cherries to strawberries and plum. But hang on, it becomes more complex. Tannins are elegant and smooth, balancing acidity-to-alcohol. Easily paired with beef, lamb, spicy food, and I think, cheddar or chocolate.  This is the first release Sinister Hand to carry a Yakima Valley designation.

I found 2014 Sinister Hand at The Wine Bin in Ellicott City, MD.  $33.

Happy Hallowine!!

Francine Lubera, CSW

Francine Lubera, a Certified Specialist of Wine, is the owner and CEO of Sofia Volo, whose mission is to introduce the enjoyable experiences of pairing wine for new and current wine lovers and to take the snob out of wine tasting, one casual tasting party at a time.


  1. Dracaena Wines - November 15, 2015 3:27 pm

    Now that’s a story for the ages! Fantastic label. Do you know their case production?

  2. Francine Lubera, CSW - December 25, 2015 4:12 pm

    I apologize for such a late reply to your question. I found case production numbers for 2012 but not 2014. In 2012, the case production was about 3600 cases. I don’t like guessing about such things but I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that 2014 would be similar. Thanks for reading !


Leave a Reply