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Tensley Tensley Vineyard Syrah 2014

Syrah/Shiraz from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • WS92
0% ABV
  • JD96
  • RP93
  • WS92
  • V95
  • JD95
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • RP91
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Winemaker Notes

This is the second vintage to be harvested from our Tensley estate vineyard. This two-acre parcel is planted directly behind our house and carefully tended to by their grower and by them. Their son, Oliver, actually planted the very first vine in 2011 and even harvested the first cluster three years later. The vineyard has great sun exposure, sandy soil and a gentle slope that provides great drainage for the vines. 2014 was a drought year, so they cut back on the water to the vines. With fewer clusters and smaller berries, the 2014 Tensley is a deeply extracted and complex wine. The tanins are fine and dusty and the wine is brimming with notes of raspberries, cherries and blackberries. Drink this well-structured wine now or age it over the next 12 years.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 92
Wine Spectator
Dark and powerful, but retains a distinctive sense of place. Aromas of blackberry, bitter chocolate and licorice open to deep, complex flavors of currant, smoke, olive and cracked pepper. Tannins frame the finish. Best from 2017 through 2028.
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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 moist ocean fog and breezes, Santa Barbara County is a grape-grower’s dream. Part of the larger Central Coast appellation, Santa Barbara is home to Santa Maria Valley and Santa Ynez Valley. 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, producing wines marked by racy acidity. Crisp Sauvignon Blanc and savory Syrah are also important. The region is 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 deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

YNG728828_2014 Item# 190415