Though he’s a super humble guy, you can tell Joey is special. Robert Parker, Jr. used to make sure he personally tasted through his wines each year because they were that good. He famously gave his Colson Canyon Syrah a 99-point score, becoming one of the first to achieve that score with an under-$50 wine. But Joey Tensley’s Big Reds are consistently that good. Unrivalled value in Santa Barbara and maybe in America.
I had a chance to secure Joey’s 96-Point Colson Canyon Syrah this year, but haven’t pulled the trigger just yet (if you’re interested, click here – I know a guy). Not when I tasted this stunner of a wine that came with a perplexing price tag. That’s not just me talking– Jeb Dunnuck in his 91-point review called it a “smoking good wine and value.”
The 2019 Fundamental Red from Joey is simply a treat. It’s beyond belief what goes into this crazy good Fundamental Red Blend including the famous aforementioned Colson Canyon Syrah. But it doesn’t stop there– bright and juicy Santa Barbara Grenache, some Mourvedre for a hint of spice and earthiness and even in an ode to the great Cote Roties in the Rhone and Sine Qua Non in the States, a splash of Viognier to bring out all the freshness and aromatics.
You’d think given the prowess, laundry list of awards and handful of quotes like Jeb Dunnuck’s “dollar for dollar [Tensley] makes some of the greatest wines out there” that Tensley’s wines would start to price people out… but here we are today with this Tuesday Night stunner.
91 Points, Jeb Dunnuck
The 2019 Red Wine checks in as 50% Syrah, 35% Grenache, 12% Mourvèdre, and the balance Viognier, all of which was 85% de-stemmed, and it spent 10 months in neutral oak. Lots of red, blue, and black fruits as well as peppery and spice dominate the nose, and it’s medium to full-bodied, with plenty of fruit, surprising complexity, and good overall freshness. It’s a smoking good red as well as a value.”