From the 24-acre Estate Vineyard and 50-acre Tonella Ranch Vineyard located in the heart of Rutherford Sequoia Grove’s President and director of wine-making, Mike Trujillo, boasts that the superb climate and gravelly-loam soils impart distinct flavor for their outstanding wines. Their Rutherford Estate Cabernet and Napa Chardonnay thrive in superior growing conditions along with the Bordeaux varietals that make up their flagship wine, Cambium. Spending a few moments with Mike at STK steakhouse in Las Vegas we learned a few things about the wines and the man behind the bottle.
30 years ago on a chance trip to visit a friend in Napa, Mike ended up staying on and continues to produce exquisite Napa Valley wines with the same passion and excitement as he felt the first day he arrived in Rutherford.
We could not start the tasting without a mention of their stellar Napa Valley Chardonnay. Hand-harvested, cluster-sorted and whole cluster pressed to preserve the pure varietal characteristics. No secondary malolactic fermentation has allowed the freshness of the fruit to shine through in every glass with a hint of minerals, ripe stone fruit, and toasted almonds.
We joined him at the renowned STK Steakhouse in the Cosmopolitan Resort and tasted through his wines. One of which is the most noted wine in the portfolio, The Cambium. Executive Chef Stephen Hopcraft’s signature seared Foie Gras: 2.5 oz. of foie gras served with huckleberry gastrique, and foie butter and miniature pancakes, melded perfectly with this special wine.
Beginning with a very limited production of 350 cases, The 2012 Cambium is a perfect blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from Tonella (Rutherford), Morisoli (Rutherford) and Stagecoach (Atlas Peak) vineyards, Cabernet Franc from Tonella (Rutherford) and Frediani (Calistoga) vineyards and Merlot from Henry Brothers (Howell Mountain) vineyard.
“We wanted to go bigger by complexity with the Cambium,” explained Mike. It is indeed a stellar wine for those seeking a sophisticated pairing for a special dinner in Las Vegas or for that momentous occasion. The wine, hand harvested and aged 22 months in French oak barrels lends to the rich tannins and the underlining superb structure that ranks this Napa wine as a superior. The 2012 is deep dark ruby in color with rich aromas of black cherry, dark chocolate and a hint of tobacco. The palate is composed of the richness of black currant and dark plum highlighted with the subtle elegance of vanilla oak. The finish is long with elegant soft tannins.
Mike is truly pleased with the outcome of this vintage, and demand has proven that it is indeed one of his flagship vintages. Sequoia Grove has proven to be one of the premier Cabernet Sauvignon producers in Napa Valley with their flagship Rutherford Estate alongside their Stagecoach, Lamoreaux, and Tonella Cabernet Sauvignons that are available through their wine club and on-line.
Sequoia Grove has proven to be the place that Mike has honed his passion for winemaking, and you can sense the beauty behind the bottle in every glass. While visiting the Napa Valley make sure your wine-tasting agenda is marked for a stop at the gorgeous Sequoia Grove tasting room for your chance to indulge in Napa’s finest wines.