If you love big, ripe, full-bodied wines from California, the latest vintage of the Tensley Santa Barbara Syrah is a must try! Taking Santa Barbara by storm, it's been 20 years since Joey Tensley started making vineyard designated wines as a side project from his "day job" as winemaker for Beckmen Vineyards. He obtained cult status when Matt Kramer added two of his 2001's to The Wine Spectator's Top Ten list. His 2021 Santa Barbara County is made up of fruit from throughout the appellation but primarily from Hilltop Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. Fruit-driven and round with floral notes on the nose and a core of blueberry, blackberry, violets and pepper. Look for hints of bacon and chocolate on the finish. This wine is approachable in its youth but will also age well over the next five or six years.
"Medium to deep ruby-purple, the 2021 Syrah Santa Barbara County has lush cassis and blueberry aromas with touches of tar and citrus. The medium-bodied palate is chalky, fresh and perfumed with a long, floral finish. This is incredibly drinkable!" The Wine Advocate, 94 Points
"Robust and generous, with blackberry, dried fig, smoked pepper and crushed rock accents that take on structure and tension toward muscular tannins. Best from 2024 through 2032." The Wine Spectator, 93 Points
"Leading off the 2021 barrel samples, the 2021 Syrah Santa Barbara County has a big, juicy, up-front, and full-bodied style carrying ample darker, almost blue fruits, lots of peppery herb nuances, sweet tannins, and a great finish. It's a ripe, sexy wine in the making that will drink well right out of the gate." Jeb Dunnuck, 91-93 Points