Hello friends. One of these years we’re going to offer this wine early enough that we can dial back the urgency, chill out, and let folks sample it and reorder. But not this year.
2015 Saviah Cellars The Jack Syrah
Just like last year’s offer for the 2014 Jack Syrah, we’re getting in right at the end of vintage for this wine. We have access to the last parcel of cases sitting in western Washington, but it’s a one-shot deal. If we take all of it, fine; and if we don’t, there are other hungry mouths lined up to gobble up the remainder.
So first, a logistics note: we have to give our initial order on Monday morning, so the sooner y’all submit order requests, the better. We’ll try to build a buffer, and we might be able to place one more supplemental order on Monday June 19, but no guarantees there.
Why all the fuss about this wine? Well, there’s the regular reason, which is that it may just be the best fifteen dollar Syrah coming out of Washington (more on that later). And then there’s a specific reason for the ’15 vintage, which is that it took Best Red, and nearly Best in Show (if it wasn’t for that damned British Columbia Pinot Gris), in Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue’s 2017 Cascadia Wine Competition. This is a big deal on sheer numbers alone. The judges evaluated a whopping 948 wines, all tasted blind, and the 2015 Jack Syrah emerged as the very best of all the reds tasted.
Impressive, but not surprising to those of us who have been following the magic that Syrah wizard Rich Funk has been casting over this wine the past few years. The Jack is Rich’s value label for Saviah, but when you look at the vineyard sources for this wine, they don’t exactly scream value. To begin with: a trio of Walla Walla Valley vineyards, including two managed by the Browns, the outstanding farming family who run Watermill (those would be Dugger Creek and Watermill Estate Vineyards), as well as Pepper Bridge. Then layer in Lewis (we’ve offered beautiful Syrahs from this site from both Dunham and Bunchgrass) and Lonesome Spring, Elephant Mountain and Sugarloaf and Stillwater Creek. All that good fruit (which includes 12% each Grenache and Mourvedre this year) was aged almost entirely in neutral French oak (just 10% new French), and it clocks in at 14.4% listed alc.
I’ll start with the last thing I wrote in my tasting notebook: “you’d have to be a real curmudgeon not to smile when drinking this wine.” It’s just one of those open-knit, generous charmers that is so easily seductive, and so very Syrah. A core of pure huckleberry fruit. Complexities of bacon fat and espresso and white flower. A just right mix of fruit and non-fruit (earthy, savory) elements. And my goodness, the amount of density and extract here for this price point; just outstanding. This would be a killer summer BBQ red (bring me a rack of ribs ASAP) and will also delight with all the braises and roasts of autumn and winter.
Egads. As if there wasn’t enough sales pressure on this wine, I just also learned that the July Wine Enthusiast is going to contain a terrific review from Sean Sullivan, who doesn’t tend to toss out scores beginning with ‘9’ for fifteen dollar wines. Wine Enthusiast (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD] 90pts.”
Please limit order requests to 24 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrived in a week or two, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.