Wine Advocate 88 points - The 2011 Roussanne Bien Nacido Hillside Estate is a medium-bodied, juicy, fresh and lightly concentrated effort that had me asking, “Where’s the beef?” Showing pretty citrus blossom, poached pears, white flowers and subtle toasty, nutty nuances on the finish, it should be better in another year, but I question how much pleasure this will ever actually deliver.
This wine is 100% Roussanne from our Hillside Estate, Block 10 at Bien Nacido Vineyard. Block 10 it the culmination of an arduous project that I embarked on with Bien Nacido in 1996 when I decided to plant 5 acres of Tablas Creek Clone (read Chateau Beaucastel). This is a custom block, planted exclusively for us, on a sunny, west facing slope. We ordered the plants and prepped the ground over the 96-97 winter. When it came time to plant in the spring, we were delivered enough plants for 2/3 of an acre! Tablas Creek had more orders than they had plants, and then some of the plants we got didnít make it. Thus started the long process to get all 5 acres planted. We planted a bit more each year and by 2001 the block was complete.