2021 Joey Tensley, Fundamental Pinot Noir, Central Coast, California, USA

2021 Joey Tensley, Fundamental Pinot Noir, Central Coast, California, USA

Product: 20218162845
Prices start from £23.00 per bottle (75cl). Buying options
2021 Joey Tensley, Fundamental Pinot Noir, Central Coast, California, USA

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What a gorgeous nose! Joey Tensley has triumphed with this unbelievably affordable California Pinot Noir. The use of 30% whole cluster fruit brings a glorious fragrance with bright red and black fruit and a herbal twist. The palate is fine and elegant yet there is a sweet richness here that draws you in. This is a refreshing and easy-going Pinot Noir with a fine, crisp, leafy note to the finish. This is so well made, it is really impressive.

Drink 2024 - 2026

Catriona Felstead MW, Senior Buyer, Berry Bros. & Rudd

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Critics reviews

Wine Advocate93/100

Medium ruby, the 2021 Fundamental Pinot Noir has inviting aromas of cranberry sauce, orange peel, liquorice and loads of amaro-like accents. Medium-bodied, it’s silky and refreshing with a deep core of berry fruit and a long, layered finish. This is a lovely Pinot Noir with a notable quality-to-price ratio!

Drink 2022 - 2027

Erin Brooks, Wine Advocate (December 2022)

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California's Joey Tensley is a new producer in the Berry Bros portfolio for autumn; the range also includes Fundamental Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay and a Fundamental Red blend. Comparatively good value for a Californian Pinot Noir, with vibrancy and freshness. A perfumed nose of red berries and liquorice spice leads to bright, ripe raspberry and cherry fruit on the silky palate, with leafy freshness on the finish.

Drink 2023 - 2026

Julie Sheppard, Decanter.com (September 2023)

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Jeb Dunnuck91/100

The 2021 Pinot Noir, which was just bottled before this tasting, sports a deep ruby hue to go with an upfront, fleshy, fruit-forward style that carries classic Pinot Noir spiced red fruits, some subtle herbal, forest floor notes, a round, expansive mid-palate, and an excellent finish. This brings terrific fruit and texture while showing plenty of classic Pinot Noir character. Drink it over the coming 2-4 years.

These Fundamental Wines are made by Joey Tensley and focus on value. Based on this tasting, I’d say he succeeds admirably.

Drink 2022 - 2026

Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (August 2022)

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About this WINE

Tensley Wines

Tensley Wines

Joey Tensley discovered wine at the age of 12 during a soccer trip to Bordeaux. He started making wine in 1993 at 22 and set up his own Tensley brand in 1998, spending the next 20 years finessing his craft with vintages in Chile, Argentina, Spain, and the Rhône Valley. Joey had already discovered a particular passion for Syrah and had started his own production in Santa Barbara with the mindset to create great quality and affordable wines from Rhône varieties.

He has since extended his range, producing exciting top-quality Syrah from single vineyards with excellent cellaring potential under the Tensley label, as well as brilliant and affordable Rhône blends, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon for drinking now under his Fundamental label.

Joey’s approach is simple: he works with great fruit from the best growers in the Central Coast and is as ‘hands-off’ as possible in the winery with minimum use of oak and sulfur. In 2016, he purchased 16 acres of his only estate vineyard, Colson Canyon, which lies above the all-important fog line, from which he had already been buying grapes to make his flagship cuvée since 2000.

Known as the King of Syrah, Joey Tensley has become renowned for his expertise with this variety, gaining a long list of accolades and high scores from critics such as Robert Parker. Today, he is widely recognized as one of the foremost winemakers in California. His wines reflect his thoughtful, laid-back approach and demonstrate a mineral purity that is quite exceptional for this region, especially at these price points.

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Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara County

At the foot of the Central Coast, just north of Los Angeles, the Santa Barbara County reverberates with its Missionary past, although viticulture as we know didn't arrive here until the 1970s. Now there are 6,000 ha of world class Pinot Noir & Chardonnay

While fog banks shape the season, together with a notable rainfall deficit between May & November, elevated terraces such as Bien Nacido in the Santa Maria Valley AVA faciliate premium fruit growing. Santa Ynez Valley AVA enjoys similar trait, though cooler still;

Recommended Producers:
Au Bon Climat's Sanford & Benedict Chardonnay from the region's Santa Rita hills is a prime example. Qupe are another excellent source

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Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.

Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.

Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.

The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.

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