Tensley’s 2015 Colson Canyon Syrah is infused with gorgeous aromas of ripe cherry, plum, black raspberry, and sweet spice, tinged with classic cool-climate white pepper and a hint of toasted oak.
We visited Joey Tensley back on October 25th in Los Olivos. While tasting through a dizzying range of 2015s, we shared a laugh about that first phone call in 2009. Though Tensley was already impressing the critics back then, soft Syrah sales at the onset of the Great Recession meant that Joey was stuck with more wine on hand than he wanted. We left that fateful call with a 200-case allocation of 2007 Colson Canyon Syrah and a partnership that’s going on nine years.
Fast forward to last January. Fresh off three years of banner sales and bulging profits, Joey and his wife Jennifer were finally able to purchase Colson Canyon — a vineyard from which they had been drawing fruit since 2000. We could still see the gleam in Joey’s eye when he called it a “dream come true.” With demand now far exceeding supply, many would have forgotten how WineAccess responded back in 2009… but not Joey.
With yields down almost 50% compared to 2014, 2015 was a short vintage. But that didn’t matter to Joey. Antonio Galloni went wild for the magnificent 2015 Colson Canyon Syrah, calling it “so compelling,” “another highlight,” and “another gem” before lobbing on 94-97 points. None of that mattered. Joey still had set aside 50 cases for WineAccess before we arrived that morning in Los Olivos.
For those of you who have been collecting Tensley Syrahs over the last seven vintages, you’re well acquainted with the astounding concentration and high-toned vibrancy of these absolutely hedonistic reds. But you also know that Tensley — as much as any winemaker on the coast — crafts wines that speak to the nuances of each growing season.
2015 was another drought vintage in California. Cold, windy conditions started the year without moisture, causing yields to drop substantially. Then temperatures rose to more predictable levels, giving Joey the luxury to carefully choose when to harvest Colson Canyon. As fruit easily ripened, sugars soared weeks before harvest, but with higher levels of acidity than in recent years. If 2014 Colson Canyon is “bombastic,” as Galloni wrote, Joey’s 2015s are intense, high-toned, and as always with Tensley, densely packed. Is this Tensley’s finest, most age-worthy 2015 Colson Canyon Syrah to date? We think so.
Saturated dark-ruby to the rim, Tensley’s 2015 Colson Canyon Syrah is infused with gorgeous aromas of ripe cherry, plum, black raspberry, and sweet spice, tinged with classic cool-climate white pepper and a hint of toasted oak. The attack is dense and expansive, packed to the core with crushed-red-fruit preserves, finishing with high-toned vibrancy — the signature flourish of Colson Canyon. Drink now-2028.
94-97 points from Antonio Galloni. As good as American red wine ever gets at just $39.99/btl. 50 cases are up for grabs, thanks to Joey. Shipping included on 4. Strict limit of one case per member.
$40. 4 bottles. Loved this Syrah. More rich and opulent than most others. More cellar olfactory notes. More polished than its peers and deserving of such a high score.
Seemed a bit tight. Will hold my other 2 bottles for at least a year.
Needs time to open up
Too soon to open. Putting it down for awhile.
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