Saviah Cellars 2013 Tempranillo, Walla Walla Valley, $38
Richard Funk, a winemaker and grower along the state line in the Walla Walla Valley, focuses much of his attention on three nearby vineyards – Dugger Creek, Watermill and his own Funk Estate. All three come into play on this expression of Tempranillo, which also includes an influence from Iberian Peninsula varieties Syrah (12%) and Grenache (6%). This barrel program of 17 months in 20% new French oak creates alluring aromas of blackberry, plum and baking spices joined by espresso. Expressive flavors including blackberry jam, Rainier cherry and cola are backed by a long push of pomegranate acidity, trailed with mocha and vanilla. This bottling with the Saviah Cellars “Classic Collection” merited gold medals at first the Cascadia Wine Competition and then the 2016 Walla Walla Valley Wine Competition, a scholarship fundraiser for Walla Walla Community College.
Production: 151 cases