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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Tensley Santa Barbara Syrah 2010

Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
  • RP92
14.8% ABV
  • WS93
  • RP92
  • WS92
  • RP92
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14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The grapes for this year's Santa Barbara County Syrah were sourced from five distinct vineyards. 40% of the fruit comes from the Camp 4 Vineyard; 25% is from the Mormon Vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills appellation, and the remainder comes from Thompson, Tierra Alta, and Colson Canyon in equal parts. Moorman is a new addition for us and introduces prominent notes of pepper and red fruits typical of Syrahs grown in the cooler Santa Rita Hills climate. The Camp 4 brings bright notes of raspberry and blueberry along with a streak of minerality while the Thompson, Tierra Alta, and Colson combine to add a lush mouthfeel and notes of black stone fruits, smoked meats and chocolate. Drink this wine now or age it over the next 3 to 5 years.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
One of the finest values in Syrah is Tensely’s 2010 Syrah Santa Barbara (100% Syrah aged in neutral oak barrels). The 500 cases of this amazing offering should disappear quickly given what’s in the bottle. A dense purple color is accompanied by notes of roasted meats, lavender, cassis, blackberries, charcoal and ink. This ripe, full-bodied, dense wine should drink well for 7-8 years, possibly longer.
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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 a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches 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 San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

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.

TEWT06821_2010 Item# 113216