The Progeny Vineyard Syrah was almost the Syrah that never happened. It arrived last fall once the weather cooled along with a shipment of bottles I picked off of WineBid.com during the summer months. At $20, I got a great deal, approximately a third of what the current vintage Progeny sells for.
The night it finally got opened, it was done on a whim. No decanting or fanfare—like when police chief Brody, from the first Jaws movie, pops the corks and pours a big ‘ol glass of Matt Hopper’s (Richard Dreyfuss) red wine without letting it breathe. My favorite, least-influential, largely forgettable wine scene in an 80’s era horror/thriller movie. Well, we should have taken Hopper’s advice. But we didn’t, and that is why I didn’t take a single note until we were 2 hours and two-thirds of our way through the bottle. But, despite its stubbornness, something remarkable happened at that point. It was somewhat like waiting on a headstrong child, determined not to have fun until the last 10 minutes of his own birthday party.
The subject of decanting is one I haven’t really spoken much about—but, I actually have an opinion on this topic. I can only recall 2 examples of wines that were buggered-up by too much air time. The initial, first-splash, aroma and flavor profile was perfect the moment it left the bottle. In a lame attempt to dig out further potential and perhaps have an out-of-body experience, I ended up missing that moment of perfection.
On the other hand, I have enhanced, enjoyed, or downright saved many wines as a result of a decanter. This doesn’t mean I decant every bottle of wine I open. But, I believe there is a perception that most wines are not really worthy of decanting—that it’s reserved for a very select class of wines, and to decant your lesser wine is a bit like wearing white tennis socks under your Gucci loafers. So, decant freely if you feel inclined—but be reasonable. Keep the Barefoot in the bottle friends.
But, if I had opened this wine with friends and blown through it in 20 minutes, it would have been a total waste. 2 hours in a decanter and it no doubt would have everybody’s attention in the palm of its hand—a stunning success no doubt. You decide.
Classic, spicy Syrah nose and palate. Shows an incredible chocolate likeness on the nose followed by deep cherry, and a petrol-like, charcoal grill smokiness. A bright rosiness is perhaps the only feminine touch to balance the more masculine disposition.
There is a nice bit of heat in the throat, a hint of pine resin, and a lush blueberry yogurt flavor quality that really makes me wish I had started with a big decant. Still saddled with life-extending tannins. I wish I had more.