Thursday, October 23, 2014

Proper 2012 Estate Syrah, Walla Walla Valley

Proper Syrah 2012

When family drops in, it’s always a good time to open a special bottle. It’s even better when they bring the bottle.

My cousin Christie stopped by earlier this week on her way back home to Chicago. For dinner Green Dragon cooked a sensational meal of butternut squash soup followed by linguini in clam sauce. We accompanied the meal with Pinot Gris from Yakima Valley.

We stayed with the Washington State wine theme after dinner. As we chatted and enjoyed music, we opened up a bottle from Christie: Proper Wines 2012 Estate Syrah from the wine Mecca of Walla Walla. Syrah from Washington is one of my top recommendations to any wine lover.

You might notice in the photo that the bottle is empty. That’s because we wanted to give it a good decanting. And we did – for about an hour while we enjoyed dinner.

The Proper Wines brand is relatively new, selling its first wines in 2011. The winery is a project of “five guys from Colorado” who are passionate about building something remarkable. Proper doesn’t have a tasting room and considers itself a micro-winery. Their focus is Syrah and… Syrah. They certainly have picked a premier location for the grape.

The wine is a dark ruby color. Despite the decanting, this took some time to evolve in the glass. With my first sip, I was unable to get a good reading on it, but as the decanter slowly emptied, I was appreciating its style and sophistication.

Full bodied with an edge of spice, the Proper profile is earthy rather than fruit forward. A splash of raspberry mixes with herb. Cousin Christie swears there were flavors of beets. Could that have something to do with the beet salad we had for dinner, perchance?

Christie likes a more fruit-driven Syrah, but Proper clicked with me. I think this would hit its peak drinking window in about two years – although it certainly is delicious now. The best solution is to buy two bottles. The price is about $39.

Thanks, cousin. You are welcome any time – especially when you bring the Proper wine!

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