Hello friends. We have the latest in our annual tradition, thanks to the generosity of Rich Funk, and thanks to our list’s support of Saviah all year long: a holiday price drop on his dazzling Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, from $30 down to something considerably lower:
We’ve offered six previous vintages of this wine, and each one has been snapped up en masse by our list members and enjoyed throughout the holidays and then the rest of the year. In some previous vintages, this price drop has coincided with the release of a strong Wine Spectator review (a couple 93pt vintages, one 92pt vintage), which has resulted in serious holiday-season feeding frenzies. Fortunately this year we’re getting in pre-review.
So, list newbies might be asking: why has this wine become such a hit with our 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.
2) Even at $30, this is always a strong buy. But at our TPU price today, yikes; this represents exceptional value for Walla Walla Valley Cabernet, and I think our savvy list members know it.
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 three estate sites for Rich – Anna Marie and Dugger Creek and McClellan Vineyards – all three converted orchards farmed by the Brown family of Watermill Winery. Here is how Rich describes these sites: Anna Marie offers dark fruit aromas, firm structure, cassis and notes of cocoa, while Dugger Creek lends red fruit aromas, rose petal and refined tannins. Rounding out this elegant wine is McClellan with blackberry fruit, along with umami soy-like aromas and flavors. It was raised in 35% new oak for about a year and a half, and it clocks in at 14.9% listed alc.
This begins with a nose that is complex and very Cabernet. The fruit is layered, including crème de cassis, berries, and stone fruits like plums and nectarines. Then there are barrel notes (mocha) and subtleties of earthy soil and leafy mint. The best ‘14s are so supple and generous, and this is a terrific example of the kind, offering an easy glide-path from attack to mid-palate and on through the finish. There’s real density here, real character to the mix of black fruit and earth, all swaddled by warming barrel tones. This is a roaring hearth in winter. This is a joint of beef roasting in a hot oven. This is honest, fascinating Walla Walla Cabernet.
Please limit order requests to 24 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive in a week or two, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.