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.
The Funk Estate Syrah ($60)
We simply love this Syrah, which received 94 points from both Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator for the 2014 vintage. This full-bodied, intense wine showcases its roots, so to speak — funky and savory with notes of herbs, black and green olives, coffee, earth and smoked meat leading to red fruit flavors. Perfect for a special occasion, the only bad news is that The Funk sells out quickly. We have the 2013 vintage and missed the 2014! The next release (2015) is in Feb. 2018. If you like funky, earthy, briny, savory Syrah, this beauty is worth the wait!
The Stones Speak Syrah ($55)
We find this Syrah almost as wonderful as The Funk. From the estate vineyard in The Rocks District, this wine features all the smoky, briny and savory notes associated with the true characteristics of a Syrah. We have the 2013 vintage, with aromatics of earth, funk, black olives, bacon fat and rain-soaked cobblestones, leading into a delicious combination of smoked meats, mushrooms, coffee, caramel, dark chocolate, spices and fruit flavors. The 2014 vintage is still available for purchase.
The Jack Syrah ($18)
We’ve enjoyed The Jack red blend as a value wine for years. But recent vintages of The Jack Syrah take this label to a whole new level. The 2015 vintage took Best Red in the popular 2017 Cascade Wine Competition, and the current 2016 Syrah comes from similar vineyards. The blend of 80% Syrah, 12% Grenache and 8% Mouvedre brings aromas and flavors of black olive, bacon fat, espresso, earth, red fruit, herbs and savory, meaty notes and a hint of funk. If you’re looking for a value Syrah to enjoy with pizza or spaghetti and meatballs, this is it.
We have purchased these three Saviah Cellars Syrahs at the winery, at retail outlets and online at Full Pull Wines. And we know we will continue to do so, vintage after vintage.
Margot and Dave