As part of Washington Wine Month we bring you a feature on a storied Washington winery. Founded back in 2000, Saviah Cellars started as a 300 case production winery that has gained nationwide prestige particularly for their rich and terroir driven red wines. Founded by winemaker Richard Funk and his wife, Anita, both natives of Montana, the couple moved to Walla Walla in 1991 and later planted their first vineyard in 2001. Saviah is a family name from Anita’s great-grandmother, a schoolteacher, artist and author, who settled in western Montana in the early 1900s.
Richard Funk’s wines enjoy a cult following in Washington. Having a background in microbiology, Richard previously worked as the Environmental Health Specialist with the Walla Walla County Health Department and is a self-taught winemaker. Richard has assisted several wineries with their start-up processes and served as the winemaker for Watermill Winery from 2006-2009, àMaurice winery from 2005-2006 and also as a consulting winemaker for several new wineries. His new red wine releases were really outstanding, coming from warm 2014 and 2015 vintages. Showing a lovely savory edge, the 2014 Saviah ‘The Stones Speak’ Syrah (WWB, 93) showcases the rocky terroir of the Walla Walla Rocks region. This is a wine not to be missed. Nearly as good was his new release Cabernet, the 2015 Saviah ‘Walla Walla’ Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 92) which has wonderful richness and intensity in this hot vintage. Learn more about this outstanding winery at https://www.saviahcellars.com/ Here are the outstanding new red wines by Saviah.
2014 Saviah ‘The Stones Speak’ Syrah-The Saviah 'The Stones Speak' Syrah is a sensational effort. Profound aromatics fill the glass lead by dark fruits, umami, iron, milk chocolate and barnyard nuances. The range here is somewhat intoxicating as the texture is silky smooth, driven by flavors umami, red cherry preserves and blackberry jam that connect with the wet rock mineral elements. This is nearly drinking beautifully right now and just about impossible to resist. Drink 2018-2028- 93
2015 Saviah ‘Walla Walla Valley’ Syrah-This outstanding 2015 Syrah starts off with wonderful dark fruits on the nose which set the tone. There are deep flavors of chocolate with crème de cassis and black olive tapenade accents which add complexity on the palate. With serious lift, this warm vintage wine is a more than solid effort and incredible value.Drink 2018-2028- 92
2015 Saviah ‘Walla Walla’ Cabernet Sauvignon- The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon begins to immediately open with aromas of crème de cassis, prune and coffee grounds. Inviting and plush with a equally as compelling flavor profile, featuring dark cherry preserves, milk chocolate and a touch of sage. This is a wonderful wine which will cellar well over the course of the next decade.Drink 2018-2025- 92