Hello friends. For many years, our list members have been the beneficiaries of Rich Funk’s kindness. His tradition had been to retail his Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon for $30 for the majority of the year, and then offer a significant price drop for November and December.
Those price drops seemed to always coincide with Wine Spectator releasing strong reviews for the wine (a couple 93pt vintages, one 92pt vintage), which, in previous years, resulted in a holiday-season feeding frenzy. We’ve offered five previous vintages of this wine, and each one has been snapped up en masse and enjoyed throughout the holidays and then the rest of the year.
Beginning in 2013, however, Rich essentially stopped the end-of-year discounts. Except…
Except for a very few accounts (I believe the list is down to two accounts now) who have been consistent supporters of Saviah over the years. I’m pleased/proud/relieved that Full Pull, and our list members, are counted among those supporters. Last year, we offered the 2012 at [TEXT WITHHELD]. And honestly: even at $30, this is a strong buy. But jeez, at our TPU price today, I’m going to tell our operations team to batten down the hatches, because this represents exceptional value for Walla Walla Valley Cabernet, and I think our savvy list members know it.
Why has this wine become such a hit with our list members over the years? Three reasons I can think of:
1) It is becoming ever more rare to see Walla Walla Valley Cabernet at a sub-$25 tariff (let alone $20).
2) Year in and year out, this is a Cabernet that most of us would be happy to pay $30 for. At a lower tag, it way over-delivers.
3) It comes from unusual vineyards. So many times when we see Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon it comes from either the king (Pepper Bridge Vineyard) or the queen (Seven Hills Vineyard). There’s nothing wrong with those two vineyards. In fact, they’re among the standard-bearers for the valley. But… it’s a big valley, full of micro-terroirs, and those of us who care about such things get a little extra intellectual jolt from tasting other sites.
The backbone of this wine comes from McClellan and Anna Marie Vineyards. Both sites are converted orchards farmed by the Brown family of Watermill Winery. Rich Funk (Saviah’s winemaker) was Watermill’s consulting winemaking during their early days, so he still gets access to this lovely fruit. It was raised in 40% new oak for about a year and a half, and it clocks in at 14.5% listed alc.
I love this wine because it really belies the growing reputation of this vintage in Washington as one for cheerful easy drinkers. Instead, this is a serious Cabernet, a brooder, unfurling slowly in the glass with access to oxygen. The nose combines pure crème de cassis fruit, stony minerals, and a lovely eucalyptus topnote. The tightly wound, densely packed palate offers smoky fruit, good mineral tones, and judicious oak. The overall package is seamless, palate-staining, texturally flawless. Tannins are managed beautifully here, and they take over on the finish after a plush attack and mid-palate, offering a toothsome final impression, awash in earl grey tea. This is a wine that just seems to keep getting better, year in and year out, as those vines dig deeper and deeper into that good Walla Walla Valley soil. Many thanks to Rich for offering us this beauty at such a compelling price!
Please limit order requests to 36 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive in about a week, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.