2008 Tensley OGT Syrah Santa Barbara

by Stevie on March 16, 2011

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In January we went to this really interesting panel discussion at the San Francisco Public Library about food and wine blogging. Four bloggers spoke, including the delightful Sabrina from The Tomato Tart, whose food blog I really enjoy (hope that vegan cleanse thing is going o.k., S!) Alder Yarrow from vinography represented wine. Among other things, I really noted him saying that he tries to only review good wines because a negative review takes just as long and isn’t nearly as satisfying.

Does everyone think this?

2008 Tensley OGT Syrah Santa Barbara

2008 Tensley OGT Syrah Santa Barbara

I get Wine Spectator regularly and enjoying reading it cover to cover. Lately I’ve noticed exactly the same philosophy. They don’t publish poor reviews, or write stories of visits to wineries that turned out dreadfully, or offer negative restaurant critiques. I also get Rolling Stone, and they’re the same. I cannot ever recall reading an article where they strongly discouraged you from buying the music (that’s not totally true about movie reviews, where they tend to be harsh.)

As obvious as it is, I’d simply never noticed until that comment by Alder.

And here I am today, trying to figure out what to say about a wine that we didn’t really enjoy that much, the 2008 OGT Syrah in magnum. Hmm.

The acronym is the initials for the Tensley son, Oliver Gunnar Tensley. You can only obtain the wine through their club. I served it alongside a magnum of the really good 2009 St. Cosme Côtes du Rhône, which is 100% syrah, as an informal taste test. As you might have surmised, the French ousted the American.

I wonder now if we drank it too soon? It looked great in the glass (and in the bottle. Magnums are always impressive, don’t you think?) The wine was an opaque purple with a nice aroma of dried herbs, leather and lots of plum. It fell apart with the taste, which started strong, full of red fruit, but about mid palate, the powerful acidity took over, robbing the wine of much interest. Too bad, as I’d had such high hopes.

Alder is right, it’s less gratifying.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tim January 18, 2012 at 11:38 am

Santa Barbara has some delicious wine I must say. Excellent selection of pinots and chardonnays, it is always a shame when you run out of the bottles you bought on your trip there. Just another excuse to keeping going back! I’ve never had this particular Syrah but I am interested in trying new wines, especially ones from Santa Barbara! I was there this past September and had an excellent time. The abundance of sunshine made for great times walking the wine orchards in the hills of SB. Stayed at the South Coast Inn (www.goleta-hotel.com). One of the best wine tasting hotels to stay at in the area.

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