If there’s a sweet spot in the Napa Valley for Cabernet Sauvignon, Sequoia Grove Winery holds a front row seat— with 22 estate acres in the heart of the valley’s Rutherford Bench.
Here, morning fog is followed by long dry afternoons and cool nights allowing the fruit to ripen slowly and provide the resource for wines with deep, intense flavor, supple tannins, bright acidity, and ravishing color.
Sequoia Grove Winery was founded in 1980 by Jim Allen, who worked closely with the legendary André Tchelistcheff to create iconic-level Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Michael Trujillo signed on as a cellar worker in the early days, and when Jim retired in 2001 and passed ownership to longtime partners the Kopf family, Michael became Sequoia Grove’s president and director of winemaking. Today, Sequoia Grove wines are made with Bordeaux varieties from its original estate vineyard, the recently acquired Tonella Estate Vineyard, and other choice vineyards throughout the region.
Michael promoted his assistant Molly Hill to winemaker in 2008. They taste frequently as the wine develops, practicing André’s analogy for making tea. “You taste, steep, and taste until it’s just right,” Michael explains.
According to the press and countless wine judges, Sequoia Grove wines are “just right” and then some. The 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was named Best of Class at The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, and Number One Wine of the Year in 2010 in Wilfred Wong’s blog. High praise like this is driving Napa Valley wine tourers to Sequoia Grove’s delightful tasting room, nestled under a grove of ancient coastal redwood trees.
Visitors marvel at its natural wood interior (the tasting bar was carved from a single piece of wood), and the lightning skylight, courtesy of a Sequoia tree that crashed through the roof several years back. Sequoia Grove Winery is dedicated to protecting the future of its namesake tree through a series of initiatives to raise money and awareness—and to making exquisite wines synonymous with Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
WHAT TO BUY:
’08 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Red cherry, blackberries, sweet vanilla, nutmeg aromas, flower petals, peppercorn $38