Hello friends. Is any winemaker more suitably named to make wine from The Rocks District than Rich Funk of Saviah Cellars? Today we’ll feature a wine named after “The Funk.” Whether that name refers to the man or the juice, I’m not sure. And thanks to a sparkling soon-to-be-published review from Wine Enthusiast, I don’t have time to find out.
[Note: in addition to the Funk, we’ll also offer a pair of bonus wines from Rich’s value The Jack tier; see below.]
Wine Enthusiast (Sean Sullvan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.” [Sullivan context note: of the 373 Syrahs Sean has reviewed for Wine Enthusiast, a mere 13 have earned stronger reviews, a series of 95s and 96s dominated by Cayuse/Horsepower and Reynvaan, Greg Harrington and Charles Smith; heady company to be sure!]
Rich’s estate vineyard down in the rocks was planted in 2007 and came online in 2009, so this is still a very young site, with massive potential. In 2013 he cofermented 96% Syrah (a mix of whole clusters and destemmed) with 4% Viognier, then aged the whole thing in French oak, one-third new, for about a year and a half. Saviah only produces 150 cases of this wine, and I believe 90% of that production gets sold to their mailing list. The remainder comes to Seattle, and it’s not very much. Fortunately, we have a long history of supporting Rich and his wines, and that is paying dividends, as we have a hold on the majority of what landed in Seattle. We’ll need to place our order Monday, so please get requests in by Sunday night, and we’ll do our best. With that Sullivan review getting ready to hit, I’d be very surprised if we’re able to facilitate any reorders.
This one begins with a beautiful, no-doubt-about-it Rocks nose. A lovely flower garden (jasmine, violet) hits the high notes. The bass notes are well represented: caramelizing meats, olives, sanguine minerality. Oh, and yes there’s some huckleberry and blueberry fruit as well. But ultimately, this is a celebration of the savory, and yes funky side of Syrah. In the mouth (14.2% listed alc), it has that unmistakable high-pH satiny Rocks texture. The swirling stew of meats and minerals and fruits are carried gently, effortlessly across attack and mid-palate and onto the long, satisfying finish, the lingering impression one of intense umami, like a lick of red miso paste. This is glorious Rocks Syrah, truly compelling.
For The Funk, let’s please limit order requests to 6 bottles, and we’ll do our best. The Jacks are first come first served up to 24 bottles total (mix and match as you like), and all the wines should arrive in a week or two, at which point they will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.