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Today's Wine:

2013 Tensley Vineyard Syrah

2013 Tensley Vineyard Syrah Santa Barbara County


 
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Today's Wine Comments:
Cellarthief

91pts- Robert Parker | 91pts- Vinous | 240 Case Production

Since Joey Tensley established his family estate in 1998—releasing just 100 cases of wine—this Syrah-obsessed vintner has seen his wines on the Spectator’s Top 100, has earned 99-points from Robert Parker and has even been honored with Food & Wine’s award for the “Top Syrah in America over $20.”

Tensley’s production has grown over the years, too. But his single-vineyard Syrahs—especially this one, carrying the family name—are still painstakingly hand-crafted and remain among the cream of the crop for Central Coast Syrah.

“Exhibits a clean, classy style to go with lots of black raspberry, currants, olive tapenade, underbrush and licorice qualities on he nose and palate. Full-bodied, supple, elegant and already delicious, it should drink nicely for 7-7 years,” writes the Wine Advocate. And Vinous reports: “Intense, pungent aromas and flavors take hold of the senses in a Syrah loaded with complexity and nuance. The tannins are firm, but also nicely balanced.” Both rate the wine with 91-93 points. Only 250 cases of this ethereal Syrah were produced in the very successful 2013 vintage, with Tensley’s Wine Club members and area restaurants receiving the lion’s share of this cult label’s production.

·    Not only was the 2013 vintage an excellent one for quality in California’s Central Coast, it was also a tremendously prodigious one for quantity. According to the Santa Maria Times: “Wine industry experts have said the state’s large crop will result in high-quality 2013 vintage wines sold at bargain prices.”

·    This 2013 is the first release from Joey Tensley’s home vineyard—which is, in fact, planted just steps from the Tensley family residence in Los Olivos.

·    The “Tensley Vineyard” is a micro-sized plot of just 2 acres tended by the Tensleys themselves. Joey’s son Oliver was given the honor of harvesting the first cluster of perfectly ripened grapes in 2013.

·    Los Olivos is ground zero for Central Coast Syrah, and since the early days of the Rhone Ranger movement this tiny, quaint town was home to dozens of award-winning Syrah-centric estates.

From the winery:

Look for notes of black stone fruit, blackberry and pepper to be balanced by bright, fresh notes of raspberries and juicy red plums. The wine has a solid structure and long finish. Drink this blend now or age it up to 7 years.

From the winery:

Tensley Wines is a family owned and operated winery focusing on vineyard designated Syrah within Santa Barbara County.
Established in 1998, the first release of Tensley totaled just 100 cases. In 2006, our production reached 3,300 cases and included seven single-vineyard Syrahs, the most in Santa Barbara County.

Though we've grown in size, our philosophy has never changed - source the best fruit possible and let the vineyard speak for itself.

Pair this with any spicer dish; whether it be a spicy Asian cuisine or grilled meat with spices, either dish would be an excellent choice. 

Wine Ratings

91 Points - Robert Parker

91 Points - Vinous

92 Insider Points

Wine Reviews

"The first vintage from Tensley's new vineyard that's planted right beside his house, the 2013 Syrah Tensley Vineyard checks in at 14.2% alcohol and sees the same, mostly neutral oak elevage as his other single-vineyard releases (excluding the Colson Canyon). It exhibits a clean, classy style to go with lots of black raspberry, currants, olive tapenade, underbrush and licorice qualities on the nose and palate. Full-bodied, supple, elegant and already delicious, it should drink nicely for 5-7 years". -Robert Parker


"The 2013 Syrah Tensley Vineyard, from Joey Tensley's home vineyard in Los Olivos, is one of the more open wines in the range. Round, supple and polished, the 2013 offers terrific depth and richness, with plenty of dark red and black fruit, smoke and savory herbs all pushed forward. As good as the 2013 is, though, it is a bit light by Tensley standards". -Vinous


Central California is a Syrah Hot Spot. It's an area where I know I can consistently find amazing productions. Like the Tensley Syrah from their self-titled vineyard in the hills of Santa Barbara. Casual winos and Syrah lovers alike can rejoice with this stunning gem. Showing well in its fifth year. 92 Points - JZ Aug '18

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