Full Pull Funk

Hello friends. We’ve offered Rich Funk’s Walla Walla Valley Syrah a number of times over the years. Its normal release price is $32, and our lowest tariff came way back in October 2010, when we offered the 2007 vintage at 26.99 TPU. Lowest until today that is:

2014 Saviah Cellars Syrah Walla Walla Valley

[Note: we’ll also have one bonus Saviah wine below.]

It took a considerable volume commitment to get our TPU price down to $25, but that was a calculated risk I was easily willing to make. It’s rare to see Walla Walla Valley Syrah of any kind in the mid-$20s, let alone one containing estate fruit from rocks district vineyards. And I was just blown away by the wine. For me, it’s Rich’s most successful bottling to date of this particular wine.

Saviah is a fine example of the myriad benefits of estate vineyards. Rich planted his aptly-named Funk Estate Vineyard down in the rocks district back in 2007, so those vines have been in production for several years now. And yes, they’ve made some beautiful single-vineyard Syrahs (we’ve offered several), but better yet: in the past few years Rich has begun allowing some of that good Funk juice to cascade into his Walla Walla Valley Syrah, and all of the sudden that bottling – which always offered strong quality for the price – has become a can’t miss.

As soon as I smelled this, I was certain it had a robust element of rocks fruit. It was there in the savory aromatics – ham-hock and olive and kombu, and it was there in the umami goodness of the palate. But I was still surprised when I got the following back from Rach upon inquiring about the vineyard sourcing: 2014 was a good for the Syrah here in the WW Valley; this blend contains mostly Rocks Syrah from Funk and Watermill: 80% of the total.

Eighty percent! Wowsah. And yet again an example of the grand cascade effect of high-quality/high-yield 2014.

All that good rocks juice was fermented with 10% whole-clusters and then aged for a year and a half in French oak, 20% new. In addition to the aforementioned savory goodies, this wine is chockful of deep blue fruit and beautiful floral topnotes. It’s a supple (14.5% listed alc), succulent mix of fruit and earth notes, perfectly polished, and really just a glorious expression of pan-Walla Walla Valley Syrah.

This wine has always been a Wine Spectator darling, nabbing 93pt reviews in three similarly-favorable previous vintages (2007, 2008, 2012). I wouldn’t be shocked to see the 2014 do at least that well, and hopefully by the time any review comes out, we will all have plenty of this wine squirreled away.

2012 Saviah Cellars Malbec Walla Walla Valley

Bonus wine! I really wanted the focus of this offer to be entirely on the Walla Walla Valley Syrah, but then like three days ago Saviah released their Walla Walla Valley Malbec, and it showed great, and it comes from the epic 2012 vintage, and we can offer it for twenty bucks, which is rare for Washington Malbec period, let alone Walla Walla Valley Malbec, so there you have it. From Watermill, Anna Marie, and Summit View Vineyards, this spent 17 months in 30% new French oak, clocks in at 14.3% listed alc, pours inky black-purple, and begins with a nose of boysenberry fruit, cocoa powder, and iron minerality, with a vein of mint-leaf threading through all of it. It’s Malbec, but on the exotic side for sure. The palate possesses rich, intense Malbec fruit, balanced by a real earthen/mineral sensibility. The long, pleasurable finish evokes mint tea.
First come first served up to 24 bottles total, and 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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