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Tensley Colson Canyon Vineyard Syrah 2012

Syrah/Shiraz from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • RP96
15% ABV
  • WS94
  • V93
  • WS94
  • V94
  • RP94
  • RP95
  • WS91
  • RP97
  • WS92
  • RP95
  • WS90
  • WS93
  • RP92
  • RP96
  • WS95
  • RP95
  • WS94
  • RP94
  • RP90
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3.8 4 Ratings
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3.8 4 Ratings
15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Half of our production comes from the rugged, rigorously farmed Colson Canyon Vineyard high in the mountains of Tepesquet Canyon. Though it is the most northern vineyard we work with, it is also the warmest as it sits high above the fog line. The warm days and cool nights of Colson always produce concentrated, fruit-forward wines rich in notes of blackberries, jammy black fruits, graphite and violets.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I wasn’t able taste through a full lineup of Tensley’s 2012, but what I was able to taste was certainly impressive. Overflowing with fruit and texture, the 2012 Syrah Colson Canyon has a stacked mid-palate, sweet tannin and a seamless, pure feel that I suspect will be hard to resist in its youth yet also age gracefully. It should certainly compete with, if not surpass, the fantastic 2011.
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Tensley

Tensley

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Tensley, Santa Barbara, 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.

Santa Barbara

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With a dry and mild climate cooled significantly by breezy ocean fog, Santa Barbara County is a grape-grower’s dream. Part of the larger Central Coast appellation, Santa Barbara is home to six separate AVAs—Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and its four sub-AVAs Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District, and Happy Canyon. The conditions here provide an opportunity for nearly effortless production of high-quality cool-climate wines. This is also the site of the 2004 film Sideways, which caused Pinot Noir’s popularity to skyrocket and brought new acclaim to the region.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stars of Santa Barbara, marked by trademark racy acidity, crisp Sauvignon Blanc, and savory Syrah. The region is also home to many young and enthusiastic winemakers eager to experiment with less common varieties including Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Trousseau Gris, Gamay, and Cabernet Franc, making it an exciting area to watch.

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.

SSACOLSON_2012 Item# 126147