Tensley Santa Barbara County Colson Canyon Vineyard Syrah 2008
Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
#17 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2010
Colson Canyon Vineyard's original 8-acre planting of Clone 7 is the backbone of the Tensley Wines program. More than half of our 2008 production comes from this highly sought-after parcel. These grapes were picked over a period of six days for maximum complexity. The first couple of picks were for acid and bright raspberry nuances; later picks showed increasing notes of pepper, smoke, and chocolate. The wine was then aged in 20% new French oak and 20% one-year-old French oak to add a bit of sweet vanilla and coffee to the finish. Being so big yet so balanced, this Syrah will age gracefully over the next 8 to 10 years yet is still quite approachable and appealing now.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Syrah Colson Canyon exhibits notes of scorched earth, smoked meats, blackberries, cassis, and flowers. The complex, northern Rhone-like bouquet is followed by the exuberant, unapologetic, ripe fruit of California. Boasting extraordinary intensity as well as abundant smoky barbecue notes, stunning, full-bodied opulence, and a powerful, layered mouthfeel, this terrific Syrah should drink well for 10-12 years."
Wine Spectator - "Displays gorgeous fruit, with a medley of wild berry, blackberry, huckleberry and boysenberry fruit that's pure, rich and intense, yet elegant, supple and refined. The fruit flavors are sustained on the finish, ending minerally, with fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2017."
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. View all Tensley Wines
About Central CoastView a map of Central Coast wineries
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Notable FactsGrape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.