Napa Valley certainly needs no introduction for wine lovers. A craze for California wines was largely fueled by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay from Napa Valley but sometimes we forget that Napa is home to a diverse group of wineries with distinct styles. Napa has no shortage of fans, but for the detractors I advise exploring wines from different producers to find the style of Napa wine that is right for you. If you like carefully crafted and balanced wines that emphasize varietal expression, give Sequoia Grove a swirl.
"With all of our wines, we want richness and balance, from start to finish. We believe in varietal expression; we want you to taste the grape." -- Michael Trujillo, President & Director of Winemaking, Sequoia Grove Winery
Founded in 1979, Sequoia Grove is located along Napa Valley's esteemed Rutherford bench which is renowned for producing some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines in the world. Michael Trujillo, head winemaker at Sequoia Grove, has more than 30 years of winemaking experience in Napa Valley and says "Rutherford is king of Cabernet."
Trujillo describes Sequoia Grove Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 ($39.99) as a "quilt work of all the vineyards we source from." Supple and silky, this full-bodied beauty has rich flavors of cherry and blackberry with a subtle pop of spice and earth. This wine beautifully shows that lushness and balance can co-exist in a California Cabernet Sauvignon. ( I sampled 2013 but the 2014 vintage has recently been released.)
Sequoia Grove Napa Valley Cambium 2011 ($124.99)
Sequoia's flagship wine, Cambium is a Bordeaux style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc that showcases the best of the vintage with some of the finest grapes found in Napa. Named for the layer of cells in trees and grapevines that allows the plant to grow and imprints the quality of each vintage on its fruit, Cambium is complex but not pretentious. Voluptuous with a finish that seductively lingers, this wine wows the palate with exuberant and nuanced flavors of blackcurrant, blackberry, plum, and cherry that are enhanced by subtle hints of cocoa, graphite, and coffee. Deliciously drinkable now with velvety tannins, Cambium has the structure to age for 10-15 years.
Sequoia Grove Napa Valley Chardonnay 2015 ($27.99)
This vibrant sip will make you reconsider your request for "anything but Chardonnay!" Fresh and vivacious with plenty of personality, this elegant Chardonnay's citrus flavors are bolstered by touches of almond, a hint of cream, and crisp minerality.
If you would like to sip these lovely wines among Sequoia Grove's namesake majestic trees, the winery welcomes visitors for tastings. Cheers!