Santa Maria ValleyROUBNsmall

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Roussanne is an obscure white Rhone varietal that is planted in a few northern Rhone appellations and is planted in the south as well, most famously at Chateau Beaucastel. It is difficult to grow and requires a lot of hand work to achieve any sort of success.

2013 was the first year we were able to purchase a small amount of Roussanne from cool Bien Nacido Vineyard. Although it is problematic growing Roussanne in such a spot—it ripens extremely late and has a tendency to rot—the advantage is that there is the possibility to make a wine that nicely balances Roussanne’s natural richness with acidity that is better preserved in a cool climate. We have continued in 2016 with the terrific wine.

We kept winemaking interventions to the minimum. This wine was barrel fermented in older French oak barrels, underwent the malo-lactic fermentation and aged on the lees for nine months before bottling in July. It has a beguiling aroma of some delicate flower that I can’t seem to place, maybe a narcissus or a daffodil, but it is lovely. The flavors are rich and filling, but not cloying. It is an easy going crowd pleaser and makes a perfect aperitif. Unique and delicious!

Blend: 100% Roussanne | Alc: 14.5% | Vinification: Barrel Fermented in Neutral French Oak | Barrel Aging: 9 Months | Total Production: 115 cases

Press Reviews

Jeb Dunnuck

“The medium-gold colored 2016 Roussanne Bien Nacido is one of the finest expressions of Roussanne from California out there. This full-bodied, deep, layered, and concentrated beauty gives up awesome notes of buttered citrus, white flowers, marzipan, and brioche. It’s absolutely the match for a top Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc and will keep for a decade or more.” Jeb Dunnuck- 94 Points

Antonio Galloni’s VINOUS

“One of the many highlights in this range, the 2016 Roussanne Bien Nacido Vineyard is a total stunner. Rich, sumptuous and radiant, the 2016 Roussanne Bien Nacido Vineyard offers stunning depth and complexity. Honeysuckle, orange peel, hazelnut and honeyed notes are all laced together in a white that hits all the right notes. Wow!.” 2020-2030  94 Points

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

“Adam Tolmach’s 2016 Roussanne Bien Nacido Vineyard is excellent, opening in the glass with notes of buttered apples, honeycomb, mandarin and candle wax. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, limpid and elegantly textural, with a deep core, succulent acids and a certain restrained richness that really evolves as this Roussanne reaches room temperature. It’s a beautifully balanced rendition of this underappreciated variety that should gain in character and complexity for a decade or more. 2018-2028”- William Kelley 92 Points