2019 Tensley Colson Canyon
The 2019 Tensley Colson Canyon Vineyard Syrah is elegant, showing perfumed notes of violets on the nose but it also packs a punch with its smoked meat notes, deep purple fruits and notes of graphite and pepper. The light touch of new oak balances the chocolate of the wine with notes of vanilla. This wine is rich and approachable now. It can also age beautifully over the next 12 years.
In 1998 Joey Tensley launched Tensley Wines with one hundred cases and one single goal – to start a well-priced, Syrah-driven brand that let the unique vineyards of Santa Barbara County speak for themselves.
Joey’s first experience with wine took place when he was just twelve-years-old and his soccer team toured a winery while taking part in a tournament in France. Joey vividly recalls the chill of the old caves and the aromas of wines fermenting in barrel. From that moment on he knew he wanted to be a winemaker. “Which pretty much made me the only kid in Bakersfield with that particular dream,” Joey says.
Ten years later, in 1993, Joey got his start in the wine business working as a “cellar rat” for Fess Parker Winery in Santa Barbara County. After only three years he became the assistant winemaker at Babcock Vineyards. While there Joey came to appreciate the importance of the vineyard and the grower. He also came to appreciate the uniqueness of Santa Barbara County as a growing region. “We’re one of the only places in the world with a mountain range that runs east-west. That gives us many different, unique microclimates, so a Syrah grown in one place is so different from a Syrah grown in another. It’s an exciting place to make wine.”
This is the most under-valued top quality red wine made in California today. Joe Tensley has received more 94-99 pt scores for his Syrah’s than any other winemaker. His signature vineyard and signature wine is the Colson Canyon Syrah. Today he owns this vineyard treasure and him managing the vineyard and winemaking process, the quality of this wine has got even better. The 2019 Tensley Colson Canyon Syrah got 96pts by Jeb Dunnuck and refers to the wine as “magical”. Other scores are too follow. This wines rivals the quality of other greats Syrah’s like Saxum, Sine Qua Non and Alban but can be had at a fraction of the price, others selling for upwards of $150 a bottle. If this wine was a Cult Napa Cab it would be over $200 a bottle. The quality of the wine is impeccable and to think it’s under $40 a bottle is hard to believe with California red wine prices. This is truly a master winemaker that makes wine from one of the greatest single vineyards in California. The wine is a big rich red with huge concentration, oodles of black and red berry fruit, toasted vanilla, a myriad of spices and smoke. Lovers of big reds this will blow you away at the price.