What follows is an excerpt for the 2008 Walla Walla Holiday Barrel Tasting Report. Read the full report here.

Richard Funk’s Saviah Cellars is one of the reasons I fell in love with Washington wine. Saviah’s 2003 Une Vallee remains one of my all time favorites. Saviah’s wines never disappoint; the price points are always right; and Richard Funk is always adding a new and exciting wrinkle to his operation. Recently, it was a reserve Merlot and a Malbec. This year it is a Cabernet Franc, a grape that an increasing number of wineries are experimenting with as more than a blending wine. Like all of Saviah’s wines, the 2006 Cabernet Franc is expertly crafted and extremely enjoyable with a much softer profile than many being made in the valley. Saviah Cellars’ record of success brings to mind two questions. One, can Richard Funk keep it going? The answer here is a resounding yes. The 2007 Une Vallee barrel sample may be the best vintage of this wine yet. Second, what will Mr. Funk do next? On this, only time will tell. Wine temperature not recorded.







Chardonnay Stillwater Creek 2006

Melon, pear, and mineral with just a touch of grassiness. If you like chardonnay, chances are you will like this wine. Single clone Dijon 25. 226 cases produced.



Cabernet Franc 2006

Blueberry and other blue fruit along with touches of spicy oak. A nice soft structure. Seven Hills and McClellan Estate vineyards. 191 cases produced.



Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Herbs and spices mark this enjoyable wine that is up front on the palate and then thins out a bit. A good food wine. 304 cases produced.



Syrah Stillwater Creek 2005

A gorgeous, lively nose with violets, spice, and touches of chocolate. On the taste, a pleasing tartness but a little lighter in the mid-palate. Still, a very good wine. 14.2% alcohol. 151 cases produced.



Big Sky Cuvee 2006

Loaded with chocolate and bramble spices along with a dusting of earth. On the taste, opens up and expands with generous amounts of chocolate. 61% Merlot; 26% Cabernet; 8% Cab Franc; 3% Malbec; 2% Petit Verdot. 536 cases produced.



Malbec 2006

A very enjoyable wine rich with spices and brambly fruit. Not as opulent as the 2005. 170 cases produced.



Merlot Reserve 2006

A fair amount of greenness to it right now. As it opens, herbs show through. A pleasing mouth feel and a long, long finish. Give at least one year. 92 cases produced.



Une Vallee 2007

Blue fruit, spice, and chocolate on a nose that still needs to come together. A spectacular mouth feel and taste. Wow! 57% Cabernet (Pepper Bridge); 36% Merlot (Seven Hills); 7% Cab Franc (Stillwater Creek). 343 cases produced.