Full Pull The Funk

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.]

2013 Saviah Cellars The Funk Syrah Funk Estate Vineyard
I originally had this calendared for September, but then I caught wind of the review set to appear in the September issue of Wine Enthusiast.

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.

2015 Saviah Cellars The Jack Chardonnay
Bonus Jack #1. This is one of the better value Chardonnays I’ve tasted this year. It comes from Evergreen (outstanding for all white varieties), Sundance, and Purple Sage Vineyards, and it was aged in a mix of barrel (70%; 52% neutral; just 18% new) and stainless steel (30%). The nose combines apple and plantain and green papaya fruit with some light floral tones of apple blossom. Very pure and clean and fruit-driven. The palate is fleshy and creamy (13.9% listed alc), but not overtly oaky. The lactic character, the purity of fruit, the overall sense of balance; all combine for a charming mid-week white.

2013 Saviah Cellars The Jack Cabernet Sauvignon
Bonus Jack #2. As usual with the Jack, the vineyard sourcing and elevage are ridiculous for the price point. Vineyard sites for this Jack Cab (which is 79% Cab, the remainder Merlot, Cab Franc, Malbec, and PV) are: Baachus, Elephant Mountain, Lonesome Springs, Pepper Bridge, Mirage, Stillwater Creek, Seven Hills, Summit View. Elevage is 30% new French oak for about a year, and listed alc is 14.3%. This is a rich, ripe, easy-drinking mouthful of blackberry/blackcurrant fruit and salty black olives, with threads of mint and smoke. Surprisingly complex, unsurprisingly generous, this would make a wonderful autumn house wine for mid-week pleasure. They’re also down to end-of-vintage for this one, so this will be a one-and-done offer, with no reorder requests possible.

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.

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