93 Points -Wine Spectator

92 Points -Robert Parker

92 Points 'Editors' Choice'  -Wine Enthusiast

REVIEWS

Deeply structured and playing mostly bass notes, this Syrah offers dark berry and crushed rock aromas and plump but dense blueberry, herbes de Provence and licorice flavors. Drink now through 2028. 170 cases made. -Wine Spectator


The 2015 Syrah Santa Barbara is another inky colored wine that should represent a terrific value. Full-bodied, sweetly fruited, unctuously textured and balanced, it has tons of black fruits, pepper and spice, solid mid-palate concentration and a great finish, all suggesting it will drink nicely for 4-5 years at the minimum. Barrel Sample: 92 Points. -Robert Parker


Opaque and almost black in the glass, this young bottling shows savory aromas of roasted meat, crushed slate, dark chocolate, fresh thyme and green peppercorns. Ripe black fruit flavors leap from the glass, bringing layers of thyme, pepper and Indian spice, all framed by bright acidity. Ready to enjoy now. -Wine Enthusiast

WHY WE LOVE IT
  • BLEND
    Syrah
  • APPELLATION
    Santa Barbara County
  • ALCOHOL
    14.00%
  • SIZE
    750ml

Since Joey Tensley established his family estate in 1998—releasing just 170 cases of wine—this Syrah-obsessed vintner has seen his wines on the Spectator’s Top 100, has earned 99-points from Robert Parker and has even been honored with Food & Wine’s award for the “Top Syrah in America over $20.”

Not only was the 2015 vintage an excellent one for quality in California’s Central Coast, it was also a tremendously prodigious one for quantity. Wine Spectator writes, "Deeply structured and playing mostly bass notes, this Syrah offers dark berry and crushed rock aromas and plump but dense blueberry, herbes de Provence and licorice flavors. Drink now through 2028."

Only 170 cases of this ethereal Syrah were produced in the very successful 2015 vintage, with Tensley’s Wine Club members and area restaurants receiving the lion’s share of this cult label’s production.

 

TASTING NOTES 

From the winemaker:

Sourced from a blend of estate Santa Barbara County vineyards, the combination of vineyard nuances adds finesse and balance to this Syrah. The Santa Barbara Syrah is aged in 100% neutral oak to preserve the inherent aromas and flavors.
Dense purple color is accompanied by notes of elegant lavender, roasted blackberry and cassis.

THE STORY TO KNOW

From the winery:

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.

PERFECT PAIRINGS

Pair this with a lamb or beef dish containing spices. The spice in the wine will make for an excellent pairing with a spicy, fattier meat dish.