A few weeks back I had the opportunity to visit Tensley’s tasting room in Los Olivos, just outside of Santa Barbara. Tensley is a family owned and operated winery that crafts some world class Syrah. Some of their recent releases have achieved incredible scores from the major wine publications, including a Robert Parker score of 96 for their 2010 ‘Noir’ Syrah. These are balanced Syrahs that have exquisite terroir. They also have a project brand called ‘Lea’ that includes some great Pinot Noirs. Many of their Syrahs are in the 40 dollar range and are a bit hard to find in the Northwest but can be found at Total Wines, online wine shops, or Tensley’s online wine store. If you are a fan of Syrah, be sure to check out Tensley.
2013 Lea ‘Santa Rita Hills’ Pinot Noir- Forward style Pinot with red raspberry and ripe cherry cola flavors. Delicious, drink now. -91
2013 Lea ‘Turner Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- Strawberry, raspberry, mushroom, and oak on the nose. Palate has vibrant acidity with minerals, cherry cola, guava and candied raspberry. Delicious, drink now. -93
2013 Tensley Grenache- Red cherry and raspberry with lavender on the nose. Palate has red cherry, raspberry, and light tannins. Drink now. -91
2013 Tensley Syrah- Blend of 5 vineyards. Rich, smoky nose with smoked meats, blackberry, anise and oak. Palate has blackberry, cran-cherry, coffee and blueberry. Drink now. -93
2013 Tensley ‘Turner Vineyard’ Syrah- White pepper, smoked meats, and blackberry on the nose. Palate has blackberry, anise, and smoked meats. Needs time to integrate the fruit. Intense wine to drink in two plus years. -93