What’s in Our Glasses Over the Holidays?

We’ve had many reasons to celebrate over the holidays. What better time to pull out fine Washington state wine from our collection to share with our friends?

And when Jenise and Bob Stone are in the house, we can guarantee the wines (theirs and ours) are going to be special.
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Va Piano Vineyards

We’ve been fans of Va Piano Vineyards and owner/winemaker Justin Wiley since we met him in 2010 after the Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla. How can you not like a winemaker who says, “My winemaking philosophy is very simple: Grow the best grapes we can and don’t screw it up in the cellar.”

More recently, Justin also founded Eritage Resort, located on 300 acres in the rolling fields of wheat and vineyards about six miles north of Walla Walla. Scheduled to open early next year, the resort will offer 10 luxury suites and a restaurant headed up by James Beard award-winning Seattle chef Jason Wilson.
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Amavi Cellars

A few months ago, we had a wonderful time at Amavi Cellars in Walla Walla, thanks to the friendly, fun and knowledgeable tasting room manager Lynne Anderson and associate Bryant Williams.

We tasted pours from five bottles of wine — three beautiful reds from the warm 2014 vintage and a 2016 white and a rosé. As we sipped through the wines, we noticed that Amavi tasting notes give you everything you might want to know before buying a bottle. So we decided to share their winemaker notes here, instead of our own. Thanks to winemaker Jean-François Pellet for outstanding wine and impressive tasting notes.

We enjoyed every single wine that we tasted, which is not always the case in our winery travels.
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Saviah Cellars Syrah

When we think of Saviah Cellars, the first words that come to mind are: “Syrah. Funk. In the Rocks District. Earthy, Savory, Funky. Excellent winemaker Richard Funk. The Funk Estate Vineyard.”

As our friend Paul Zitarelli from Full Pull Wines aptly put it: “Is any winemaker more suitably named to make funky Syrah than Richard Funk?” To which we also wonder: Could any vineyard be better named than The Funk Estate Vineyard? 

The estate vineyard is located in The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater — mostly basalt pebbles, cobbles and boulders washed from the Blue Mountains.

Although the Walla Walla winery also produces many other varieties, including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Barbera and Malbec, what caught our attention was these three Syrahs at different price points — all of which are currently in our cellar.
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