Saviah Cellars: More Good Wine from Rich Funk



By Kori ~ May 31st, 2010.

Saviah Cellars is a family-owned winery located south of downtown Walla Walla, Washington, near the Oregon state line in the Walla Walla Valley AVA. Owner/winemaker Richard Funk and his wife Anita, both natives of Montana, moved to Walla Walla in 1991. Rich became acquainted with a number of the area wineries while working as an Environmental Health Specialist with the Walla Walla County Health Department. Through his work at the Health Department on water quality and wastewater issues, he got a firsthand look at the vineyards in the area and developed a relationship with a number of local winemakers who helped him get his start in the industry. Saviah Cellars was founded in 2000 and currently produces about 9,500 cases per year. The name Saviah is a family name from Anita’s great-grandmother.

We selected Saviah Cellars as our Best Washington Winery of 2009. Recently, we had the opportunity to taste six current releases from Saviah in a blind samples tasting. Our favorite was the 2008 Malbec, followed closely by the 2007 Red Mountain Syrah and the 2006 Petit Verdot, but we would recommend all six wines. And two of the wines, the Malbec and the Cabernet Sauvignon, received a QPR rating of 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5).

One of the things that I really admire about Rich’s winemaking style is that he strives for elegance rather than over-extracted huge wines. As a winemaker, he is all about the fruit, but his wines are not fruit bombs. Rich’s wines show balance, complexity, and elegance. Not only is Rich making some great wines, but he is an extremely nice guy to boot. If you are in the Walla Walla area, Saviah Cellars is a winery that you should definitely visit. And even if you aren’t able to visit, be sure to try some Saviah wines.

2008 Saviah Cellars Malbec (Walla Walla Valley, Washington): Deep, dark purple in color. Very aromatic with black fruits, spice, and licorice on the nose; more black fruits, spice, and black pepper on the palate. Medium to full-bodied and crisp with medium to high tannins and a long finish. Well-balanced with a lot of layers.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $30

2007 Saviah Cellars Red Mountain Syrah (Red Mountain, Washington): Deep, dark purple and aromatic. Vanilla and oak aromas lead to blackberry and licorice flavors. Medium to full-bodied with crisp acidity and medium to high tannins. Well-balanced with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $30

2006 Saviah Cellars Petit Verdot (Walla Walla Valley, Washington): Deep, dark, inky purple. Very aromatic with prunes, earth, and blackberry on the nose; black fruits, particularly plums, and licorice on the palate. Medium to full-bodied and lively with medium tannins. Well-balanced with good complexity and a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $35

2007 Saviah Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (Walla Walla Valley, Washington): Deep, dark red in color. Very aromatic with black cherry and vanilla aromas that lead to more black cherry and blackcurrant flavors. Medium to full-bodied and lively with medium to high, drying tannins, and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $28; Available elsewhere, $25 to $30

2007 Saviah Cellars The Jack Red Wine (Columbia Valley, Washington): Deep, purplish red. Ripe red and black fruit aromas lead to jammy, sweet black fruit flavors. Medium to full-bodied with crisp acidity, medium tannins, and a long finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $18; Available elsewhere, $17 to $23

2007 Saviah Cellars Cabernet Franc (Walla Walla Valley, Washington): Deep, purplish red. Aromatic with oak and creosote aromas. Black fruits and a hint of pepper come through on the palate. Medium-bodied and lively with medium tannins and a long finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 2 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $28; Available elsewhere, $24


Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Red Wine, Shiraz/Syrah, Washington State Wine, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

Reader's Comments

  1. WineMiser | May 31st, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Agreed on Saviah,

    Very nice Quality, I recently had the Red Mtn Syrah and it was very nice.

    Cheers!

  2. Kori | June 2nd, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    Wine Miser,
    Thanks. If you haven’t yet, I hope you get a chance to visit Saviah and meet Rich. Cheers!

  3. Saviah wines | Kcloanstore | March 13th, 2012 at 10:19 am

    [...] Wine Peeps: A Wine Blog » Saviah Cellars: More Good Wine from …May 31, 2010 … Saviah Cellars is a family-owned winery located south of downtown Walla Walla, Washington, near the Oregon state line in the Walla Walla … [...]