2013 Lea (Tensley) Rosé Tierra Alta Vineyard Santa Barbara County
 
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Joey and Jennifer Tensley "Lea" in Colson Canyon

Joey Tensley has earned 99 points from Robert Parker and multiple 95s from Wine Spectator for his Colson Canyon Syrahs. But despite all the accolades, when you watch Joey as he saunters through his vines or kicks a soccer ball around with his son Oliver, you can't help but wonder how a Bakersfield farm boy found his way to the cover of Wine Spectator.

Over a delicious private lunch in Los Olivos — where a local chef prepared a sumptuous spread of grilled asparagus, arugula salad, and wild mushroom risotto, sprinkled with Parmigiano Reggiano shavings — Joey uncorked a five-vintage lineup of his dizzying Colson Canyon Syrahs. But before we got to the main act: Tensley, as always, began with something pink.

"Jennifer and I don't make much rosé," Joey said as he poured a few ounces of the 2013 Lea into four Zalto Universal stems. "We're still playing catch-up with the bankers, and pink wine doesn't pay the bills. The bankers ask why we make rosé when the same grapes can go into Colson Canyon Syrah and sell for twice as much? Why? Because there's more to life than cash flow."

Each year the Tensleys set aside 3 of their 400 tons of Colson Canyon Syrah. After a short cold soak, they pull the skins off, coloring their 99-point Syrah a glistening pink. Then Jennifer pulls out all the stops, barrel-fermenting her rosé in neutral barrels, gently nursing out all the strawberry juiciness, always braced by classic Colson Canyon vibrancy.

The 2013 Lea Rosé is glistening reddish-pink to the rim. Explosive aromatically, infused with luscious mix of red raspberry and strawberry, laced with sweet herb minerality. Rich, juicy and vibrant on the attack, at once high-toned and juicy, the finish alone is well worth the price of admission — bracing, with mouthwatering Provençal persistence.

The entire production of the 2013 Lea Rosé is just 150 cases. The Tensleys keep 240 bottles to get them through the spring and summer nights. Of the remaining 130 cases, WineAccess gets half.



Tasting Notes

2013 Lea (Tensley) Rosé Tierra Alta Vineyard Santa Barbara County
"The 2013 Lea is glistening reddish-pink to the rim. Explosive aromatically, infused with luscious mix of red raspberry and strawberry, laced with sweet herb minerality. Rich, juicy and vibrant on the attack, at once high-toned and juicy, the finish alone is well worth the price of admission — bracing, with mouthwatering Provençal persistence."
-- WineAccess Travel Log

 

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