In the late 1990’s coming off a decade-long stint as a “cellar rat” for Fess-Parker, Joey Tensley decided to start his own thing. His goal was to create beautiful Big Red wines, mainly from his favorite grape, Syrah – which he felt could absolutely thrive in the Santa Barbara climate.
By 2001, the wine press took notice. That year Matt Kramer of the Wine Spectator named two of Tensley’s 2001 Syrah’s to his list of the Top Ten Wines in the World and Robert Parker, Jr. himself scored all the ‘01’s in the high 90’s, calling them “serious, hand-crafted efforts.”
By 2008, Food and Wine Magazine named the Colson Canyon Syrah “Top Syrah in America Over $20.” Two years later, Robert Parker gave the 2008 Anniversary Series Colson Canyon Syrah 99 points, and The Wine Spectator named the 2008 Colson Canyon Syrah #17 of its Top 100 Wines in the World. The 2007 Colson Canyon Syrah was ranked #22 the year before. Since then, the hit parade of high scores has never relented.
The new 2020 Colson Canyon Vineyard Syrah release is absolutely drop dead gorgeous. There aren’t many if any Californian Big Reds that have three scores of 96 points or more attached to the wine, but here we are today… for as long as my 60 bottles last!
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97 Points, Vinous
The 2020 Syrah Colson Canyon Vineyard is a showstopper. Super-ripe red cherry jam, spice, rose petal, mint and blood orange explode from the glass. Even with all of the opulence of the year, the Colson Canyon retains so much brightness and energy. The 2020 is dense, heady and exotic to the core.
96 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Deep ruby-purple, the 2020 Syrah Colson Canyon Vineyard offers very pretty aromas of cassis, aniseed and dried lavender with slowly emerging scents of orange peel, dried earth and potpourri. The medium-bodied palate is plush and inviting, with an appealing balance of savory fruit and bright spice, and it finishes with tremendous lift and length. This is super drinkable!
96 Points, Jeb Dunnuck
The 2020 Syrah Colson Canyon Vineyard also shows lots of richness, yet it never goes over the top, and the purity as well as the quality of the tannins are spot on. Full-bodied, perfumed, and complex, with a kiss of chalky minerality, it’s not going to break the trend of incredible vintages from this vineyard.
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