Friday, October 14, 2022

Villa Andretti Chardonnay - Tensley Colson Canyon Syrah

Villa Andretti Chardonnay - Tensley Colson Canyon Syrah with grilled surf and turf

For special end of the week dine-in with friend Kay Z, the ladies were in a festive mood so Linda prepared grilled strip steaks and lobster tails. I pulled from the cellar two appropriate wines to accompany the surf and turf entrees. 

To celebrate our shared Hoosier heritage, with Kay sharing some of her memorable Hoosier experiences, I pulled our last remaining bottle of Villa Andretti California Chardonnay with the lobster. Kay shared stories of working the Indy 500 race at the track for the local TV station and engaging with members of the Andretti racing team many years ago, early in her career. 

We discovered and acquired this wine at the Villa Andretti Winery, from famed Indy racing driver Mario Andretti, in southeast Napa Valley during our Napa Wine Experience in 2018. We discovered the Andretti estate while visiting the Lewis Cellars winery which is across the road, during our Napa Wine Experience in 2017.

Villa Andretti California Chardonnay 2017 

This is the basic Chardonnay in the broad Andretti portfolio and was a nice complement to the grilled lobster tails.

Golden butter colored, medium bodied, notes of green apple, pear and citrus, with hints of peach on a modest finish.

RM 87 points. 


We then moved to the main course, grilled strip steaks. While I would favor a Bordeaux varietal wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, Linda wanted her favored profile wine, a big bold forward hearty Shiraz/Syrah. 

Hence, I pulled from the cellar, perhaps the current best drinking bottle meeting this profile, this Colson Canyon Syrah from Tensley Wines.  

We discovered and acquired this and several other Tensley Santa Barbara County Wines, that I wrote about here, and replay below, during our Santa Barbara County Wine Experience earlier this year. This was the standout of that tasting and best represents the style that we love.

Tensley Colson Canyon Vineyard Santa Barbara County Syrah 2020

Winemaker Notes: "Everything we farm in house is something very special to us. This site is one of the most unique and special places in the world of wine. High (1400 elevation) in the hills north of the Santa Maria Valley with some of the most iron-laced soils I have seen in Santa Barbara County.'

"This wine always delivers juicy round seamless edges. This is the only wine we add some new French oak, as its weight and power integrates with the oak, adding a bit of toasty buttery complexity. Colson Canyon is such a beautiful example of fruit forward juicy California Syrah. Open it anytime and enjoy its blueberry, cassis and chocolate nuances or leave it 20 years and enjoy its leathery, almondy notes. It does not really matter when you open it, it will deliver."

1925 Cases Produced

This was awarded 94-96 points by Jeb Dunnuck and 96 points by Wine Advocate.

Might I consider this the Tensley 'flagship'? This reminded me of a couple other memorable highly rated Syrahs, Kongsgaard Carneros Hudson Vineyard and Penfolds Grange. Both are flawless, seamless, and notable for their smooth, polished, balanced profile. While not to that level of perfection perhaps, this is close and evokes the same experience. This bottle was from the Wine Club allocation we received from that visit. We're anxiously awaiting our fall release shipment that we're told was shipped this week.

Dark inky purple colored, full bodied, thick concentrated unctuous juicy black and blue fruits with layers of cassis and chocolate nuances with notes of oak, leather and tobacco on a tongue coating lingering finish. 

RM 94 points.