By Duane Pemberton
Winery website: www.saviahcellars.com
For Saviah Cellars’ owner/winemaker, Richard Funk, it’s not too difficult to make good wine since he sources some of the best fruit available out of Walla Walla and the Columbia Valley. Additionally, he has his own estate vineyards in near-by Milton Freewater Oregon – which is still apart of the Walla Walla AVA.
- Vineyards: Stillwater Creek Vineyard - Stillwater Creek Vineyard located in the Frenchman Hills of Washington State’s Columbia Valley.
- pH 3.59
- TA 0.61 g/100mL
- Alcohol 14.2% By Volume
- Frementation: Small open top stainless steel tanks. 50% whole berry primary fermentation. Why? Whole berries trap volatile aroma compounds which are normally blown off during the most active phase of fermentation. This increases the varietal characters of the finished wine. The cap is punched down by hand 3 times per day.
- Cooperage: 100% French oak barrels - 40% New French oak
- Aged 17 months
- Cases produced: 220 cases
- Bottling date: February 17, 2009
- Release Date: April 1, 2010
- Price: $30
Nose: Blueberry, pepper, hint of violet and game. I also get some ink-action – sort of like walking into a print shop – but overall a bit aromatically challenged.
Taste: To be honest, this wine is a bit challenged for my palate as the fruit seems to dissapate too quickly. It is an acid-head-style syrah that needs some sort of hearty food to pair with it. It’s not a Syrah that a lot of folks would enjoy on its own. This wine is still very young and should be laid down a few more years or at least an hour-long decant. The finish is a bid disjointed for me, unfortunatley.
In closing, I have long been a fan of Richard’s efforts – in fact, I used to sell his wine years ago when I was a sales rep for his distributor. I could try this wine again today, and perhaps have a totally different outcome – and I look forward to trying it again down the road.
W.E.P. Rating: 80%