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Tenshen White 2016

Rhone White Blends from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • WW92
14.7% ABV
  • WS92
  • WS92
  • WE91
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4.2 7 Ratings
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4.2 7 Ratings
14.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Aromas of tangerine and ripe melon lead to flavors of peach and apricot. Balanced acidity and juicy honeysuckle accent the finish with a hint of hazelnut.

Rhone Style White Blend: Viognier, Rousanne, Grenache Blanc, Chardonnay

Critical Acclaim

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WW 92
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
One of the best Rhône-style white wines produced in California, the mineral-driven 2016 Tenshen White Wine—a blend of Viognier, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, and Chardonnay—shows chalk, dried citrus, and peach skin flavors. Pair with pan-seared breaded flounder. (Tasted: July 25, 2017, San Francisco, CA)
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Tenshen

Tenshen

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Tenshen, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
Tenshen is a play on words that nods to winemakers Joey Tensley and Alex Guarachi’s winemaking acumen and the tension that occurs when harvesting. Tenshen’s thought provoking Rhone blends are tenacious and alluring. The reds exhibit brooding dark fruit that is accented by Santa Barbara spice and completed by a mouthwatering finish.

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.

Rhône White Blends

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Full-bodied and flavorful, Rhône white blends are made in France’s Rhone Valley and beyond, proving most successful in Spain, Australia, South America, and California’s Central Coast. They are made from a combination of two or more of the white varieties permitted in the Rhône, potentially including Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier.

In the Glass

Each variety brings something different to the table. Round, textural Grenache Blanc contributes green apple and white stone fruit flavors; weighty Marsanne adds structure and delicate honeysuckle aromas; russet-colored Roussanne lends intriguing herbal, tea-like notes, and Viognier provides an oily texture and an elegant floral perfume. The flavor of the final wine will depend on the chosen components of the blend and their respective proportions.

Perfect Pairings

Since Rhône white blends tend to be fairly full-bodied, they can be quite versatile food pairing wines and can work with light to medium rich meals that might normally be matched with reds. Meatier fish dishes with bold seasoning like grilled swordfish with caper butter or baked, herb-crusted mahi mahi are natural allies for these flavorful wines. Other ideal dishes include roast pork in mustard sauce, poached lobster with beurre blanc, or a rich and savory vegetable quiche. `

Sommelier Secret

In the Northern Rhône, blends of Marsanne and Roussanne are most common, in the appellations of St.-Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, and St-Péray (in Condrieu and Château-Grillet, whites are made from Viognier only). The Southern Rhône, on the other hand, has much more variety, with many more permitted grapes including Bourboulenc, Clairette, Picpoul Blanc, and Ugni Blanc.

YNG188282_2016 Item# 187379