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Tensley Tierra Alta Syrah 2010

Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
  • WS94
14.7% ABV
  • RP91
  • RP93
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14.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

In 2010 Tierra Alta lowered its output by dropping their crop to one cluster per shoot for a yield of about two and a half tons per acre. The result is a darker and more concentrated Tierra Alta than we have seen in years past. But have no fear, this Tierra Alta still shines with all the wonderful characteristics that its famed clone has to offer. The 99 Syrah clone is known for its mineral and earthy nuances and dynamic yet elegant fruit notes. So while this vintage is very extracted, it is also very finessed and feminine. This wine is driven by velvety flavors of plum, violet, and blueberry balanced by a strong backbone of lively acidity. Try this Syrah with duck or turkey as well as heartier meat dishes. Drink this wine now or age it over the next 8 or 9 years.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 94
Wine Spectator
Exhibits a broad range of supple flavors, extending from beefy wild berry to touches of blueberry, tomato paste and olive tapenade to loamy earth. Beautifully balanced, this is elegant and stylish. Drink now through 2023.
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Tensley

Tensley

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Tensley, Central Coast, California
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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.

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of the state's wine. The sprawling district covers most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara from the coast inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley. Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types, and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Just about every major international grape variety is planted within this vast AVA, from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. A significant proportion of the region’s produce is generic, inexpensive bulk wine, but the Central Coast is also home to many small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as everything in between.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

KOE120639_2010 Item# 120639