Starting in 1998 Joey Tensley launched Tensley Wines with a one hundred case production. He set out craft reasonably priced Syrah wines from great vineyards of Santa Barbara County. In 1993 Joey first began working as a “cellar rat” for Fess Parker Winery in Santa Barbara County. He later became assistant winemaker at Babcock Vineyards and in 1998 Joey moved on to become the assistant winemaker at Beckmen Vineyards where he first created his own label. Having visited the winery and tasting room on several occasions, I have been very impressed with Tensley releases for more than a decade as there are few California Syrah wines that offer this much value.
HIs new wines were simply awesome, as they come from a hot vintage in Santa Barbara County. Look for his 2015 Tensley ‘Tensley Vineyard’ Syrah (WWB, 94) which is a massive yet structured wine that will cellar beautifully for a decade or more.
2015 Tensley 'Santa Barbara County' Syrah- This dense wine is an awesome value from this estate. It begins with rich aromatics of smoke, blueberry compote and red cherry. This leads to rich flavors of sweet cherry compote, mocha, sage and crushed mint. Delicious now, this rich and layered bottling will cellar gracefully over the next decade. Drink 2017-2027- 93
2015 Tensley 'Tensley Vineyard' Syrah- Sourced from their small, estate vineyard, Joey Tensley has crafted a stunning Syrah wine with their 2015 ‘Tensley Vineyard’ Syrah release. This inky colored wine begins with aromatics smoked brisket, black cherry and tar. This leads to flavors of creme de cassis, anise, black cherry compote and black olive. This dense treat is impossible to resist right now. Drink 2017-2027- 94
2015 Tensley 'Colson Canyon Vineyard' Syrah- Decadent and rich, this show-stopping Syrah impresses with its intensity and layers. This begins with dense aromatics of black tea, black olive, creosote and black pepper with blueberry compote. There is a tremendous poise and fruit weight that shines through. This leads to dense flavors of milk chocolate, blackberry jam, black tea and creme de cassis, ending with a chocolate and mineral driven finish. This is a gorgeous effort by winemaker Joey Tensley. Drink 2017-2028-94