Can I just stop for a few moments and gloat a little? Ahh… It just feels so good to be right once in a while.
When I write that a particular wine or wine maker is really doing well I am always amazed how people gloss over and either quickly forget or ignore what I’ve told them. I know that everyone has their favorite little winery that they visit where the winemaker gave them a signed cork, or a piece of 10 year old cheese. But, those aren’t necessarily the ones producing really amazing wines. The ones producing the great stuff are these quiet little vintners that aren’t directly on the beaten path.
Such is the case with my good friend Rich Funk. Funk, who with his wife Anita, owns Saviah Cellars near the Oregon border in Walla Walla is producing some of the most amazing and solid wines of anyone in the region.
I met with Rich a few months ago and he was just preparing to bottle up his new “Jack” Riesling. Another part of his “Jack” line of labels. The wine wasn’t ready to taste when I was in the barrel room then, but Rich was extremely excited about what he was seeing at the time.
The “Jack” is a complete line of mid-priced wines, with a Blend, Merlot, Cabernet, Syrah, and now an addition of a Riesling. I have photographed and tasted every one of these wines at one time or other, with the exception of the Riesling, but I’ve been very excited to give it a try.
Recently, a Facebook friend asked me for Walla Walla white wine recommendations. Without even a second’s thought I told her that the Jack Riesling was a definite must have. That is without even tasting the stuff.
Well, this week the news broke. At the 30th Annual Washington Wine Competition held in Yakima last week the Jack Riesling took home the bank. It won the best overall wine, the Govenor’s Award, and all the top honors.
I am so excited for Rich, and I wish him a complete sell out on this wine. That is, after I’ve had a chance to buy a case myself!
Along with the Riesling, Saviah also received double gold for its 2008 Malbec, and a gold for it’s 2007 Petit Verdot. These are wines that I have tried, and can undoubtedly vouch are absolutely fantastic vintages. I just enjoyed the Malbec on Father’s Day with a fantastic dinner at Tuscany in Prosser.
While the Funks and their crew took several awards, there were also others that should be mentioned. Rob Griffin, winemaker-owner of Barnard Griffin in Richland took home the “Best Red” award with his 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. There were also many double gold awards from Hard Roe To Hoe, Sinclair Estates, Thurston Wolfe, and Walter Dacon Wines.
For a complete listing of the winners I suggest you go online to WinePressnw.com and look up the complete listing. You will find many of the wines that I have already suggested to you over the past year, and probably some more that I will mention again soon.