2012 Lea (Tensley) Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

SKU #1146311 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Looking at her 2012s, which were just bottled at the time of this tasting, the 2012 Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills is another winner. Perfumed and loaded with fruit, it offers up beautiful purity, vibrant acidity and a pure silk texture that’s hard to resist. Crushed berries, flowers and spice are just some of the nuances here and this has a decidedly upfront, delicious profile that will be ideally suited for drinking over the coming 4-5 years. Drink now-2018. These classy, elegant Pinot Noirs are made by Jennifer Lea Tensley (of Tensley wines). They offer outstanding, individual characters and are solid values.  (8/2013)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright ruby-red. Assertive aromas of raspberry, cherry and fresh flowers, with peppery spice and woodsmoke accents building with air. Juicy and precise in the mouth, offering gently sweet red berry flavors and a hint of candied rose. Shows impressive energy and clarity on the long finish, featuring a tangy bitter cherry nuance.  (11/2013)

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Price: $26.99
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Staff Image By: Christie Brunick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/25/2013 | Send Email
This Pinot Noir from the folks at Tensley is bright, ripe and extracted, with plentiful dark red fruits, spice and hints of cedar. Fleshy and silky, this is a wine to enjoy immediately. This wine isn't for the Burgundy lover--this is a California Pinot Noir fan's Pinot Noir.

Staff Image By: Patrick Cu | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/24/2013 | Send Email
For lovers of the fruit-forward, ripe, and jammy style of Pinot Noir, here is one for you. The 2012 Lea from Tensley is lush and loaded with ripe raspberries, a touch of spice, and gentle acidity. No need to wait, this is drinkable now.

Additional Information:


Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.7