91 Points - Vinous
91 Insider Points
Brilliant ruby-red. Spicy raspberry and cherry aromas are complicated by white pepper, lavender and pungent herbs. Pliant red fruit flavors are deepened by candied licorice and bitter chocolate nuances, with a spicy element adding lift and cut. Spicy and energetic on the finish, leaving tangy mineral and bitter cherry skin notes behind. - Vinous
Colson Canyon Vineyard, Santa Barbara
Think of Colson Canyon Vineyard as Grenache’s home away from home. This rugged, rocky spot mimics the grape variety’s ancestral birthplace in the mountains of northern Spain and shares much in common with Grenache’s other favorite haunts—the Mediterranean coastline and that sea’s largest islands, Sardinia and Corsica.
Winemaking star Joey Tensley and wife Jennifer purchased the 115-acre Colson Canyon property in the hills of Santa Maria in 2016 well aware of the place’s potential for truly awesome Rhone varietals. Nearly too craggy to cultivate, Colson Canyon features a varied but uniformly furrowed landscape with vines clinging to nutrient-poor soil from the canyon's edge up to an elevation of 1,400 feet. Grenache from this single-vineyard displays a heightened intensity of both fruit and mineral notes. Partial whole-cluster fermentation and direct-pressing the juice straight to neutral French oak (no new wood here!) makes for a profound red and very possibly one of the finest Grenache wines made in the U.S. Adding to all this profundity, this Grenache remains an exceptional bargain. Writing about Tensley’s 2013 releases, the Wine Advocate notes: “This is another great lineup by Joey Tensley. He has a couple new releases in the lineup … and his single vineyard releases continue to offer sensational value.”
· The 2013 vintage an excellent one for quality in California’s Central Coast and a prodigious one for quantity. According to the Santa Maria Times: “Wine industry experts have said the state’s large crop will result in high-quality 2013 vintage wines sold at bargain prices.”
· Since Joey Tensley established his family estate in 1998—releasing just 100 cases of wine—this Rhone-obsessed vintner has seen his wines on the Spectator’s Top 100 and has earned 99-points from Robert Parker.
· While seldomly bottled on its own in the U.S., Grenache is one of the most widely planted varietals in the world, commonly grown throughout Spain, France and Australia.
· Grenache was also a significant grape in the early days of the California wine industry as part of traditional “mixed black” blends. Not that Grenache is always a blending grape. Ch. Rayas, arguably the most coveted Châteaneuf du Pape of all, is 100% Grenache.
From the winery:
A bright, fruit-driven, and spicy wine that resonates with rich notes of black and red cherries. Age this wine over the next 7 to 9 years.
From the winery:
Established in 1998, the first release of Tensley totaled just 100 cases. In 2015, our production reached 5,000 cases and included five 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.
The Tensley Tasting Room is located in the scenic town of Los Olivos in the heart of Santa Barbara County wine country.
Truly a family owned and operated winery, you will likely find either Joey or Jennifer Tensley working behind the tasting bar on any given weekend. We look forward to seeing you soon.
The spices and tanins in this wine will pair perfectly with anything off the barbecue. We suggest trying it alongside spicy Italian sausages or lamb chops.