2012 Tensley "OGT" Santa Barbara County Syrah (1.5L)

SKU #1153321 95-97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Slightly more structured and restrained, the 2012 OGT is another stunning, full-bodied effort that gives up plum, black raspberry, creamy licorice and spring flower aromas and flavor. Finishing with serious length and sweet tannin, it should be a mid- to upper- ninety scoring effort that will make eyes roll back in their heads for upwards of 15 years or more. Drink 2014-2026. (JD)  (8/2013)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (in magnum) Glass-staining ruby. A heady, exotic perfume brings forth candied black and blue fruits, incense and blood orange. Sappy, deeply concentrated blueberry and cherry-cola flavors show outstanding power and energy, picking up spicecake and floral pastille nuances with air. Shows excellent clarity and thrust on the finish, featuring silky tannins and lingering spiciness. (JR)  (12/2013)

93 points Vinous

 The 2012 Syrah OGT is another of the more overt, forward 2012s in Joey Tensley's range. Orange peel, cranberry, cinnamon, mint and crushed rocks add attractive overtones of exotic brightness in a Syrah loaded with tons of near-term appeal. Bottled only in magnums, the OGT is a blend of 50% Colson Canyon, 25% Thompson and 25% Tierra Alta Syrahs. (AG)  (7/2014)

K&L Notes

"One of the rising superstars in California," write Wine Advocate's Jeb Dunnuck, "Joey Tensley continues to focus on single vineyard Syrahs and Rhone blends from Santa Barbara County. All of the wines are treated identically in the cellar and see just under a year in neutral oak (the Colson Canyon sees a small amount of new oak). They show their origin beautifully and have distinctive, unique personalities. In addition, they age beautifully and continue to be offered at fantastic prices. In short, don’t miss these wines." (08/2013)

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Price: $119.99
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- The most widely planted grape in Italy is Sangiovese, a high-acid grape with moderate to high tannins, apparent earthiness and subtle fruit. It is thought to have originated in Tuscany and its name, which translates to "blood of Jove," leads historians to believe it may date all the way back to the Etruscan period, though historical mentions only go as far back as the early 1700s. Though planted all over modern Italy, the most significant wines made from Sangiovese still come from Tuscany: Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino. Sangiovese must make up 75% of a blend from the Chianti DOCG t be labeled as such, traditionally allowing for Canaiolo, Trebbiano and Malvasia for the remainder, though more recently small proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot have been allowed. In Brunello di Montalcino the wine must be made entirely of Sangiovese. Prugnolo is Montepulciano's name for Sangiovese, and it is used there for the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines. In the DOC of Carmignano Sangiovese can be blended with 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. There are also Super Tuscans, IGT wines that blend Sangiovese with large proportions of Cabernet or Merlot. Elsewhere in Italy it is a workhorse grape, though it does find some success (though not the longevity) in the Montefalco and Torgiano wines of Umbria as well as the foundation of Rosso Piceno and a significant element of Rosso Conero from the Marches. Like Nebbiolo, Sangiovese has struggled to find footing outside of Italy, though in recent years California wineries have been having better fortune with grape plantings in the Sierra Foothills/El Dorado County, as well as Sonoma County and the Central Coast.

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.