an evening with sequoia grove winery

I recently had the honor to attend a very intimate dinner with the president and head winemaker of Sequoia Grove, an award-winning Napa winery.  My inbox often fills up with media invites, and I attend the ones I can, the ones that sound interesting and, particularly, the ones I am able to successfully pitch to a magazine/newspaper/website.  However, I had no idea what to expect from this one in particular.  A dinner at Eddie V's with head winemaker Michael Trujillo?  This sounded quite special indeed...

I assumed we'd have an area of Eddie V's roped off, maybe some passed appetizers and a chance to ask Trujillo some questions here and there.  What I did not expect was to be only one of the three people invited to this dinner!  

Trujillo strikes a pose with his 2010 cab

It was great to be able to casually chat with the president in such an intimate setting.  Myself and the other two bloggers in attendance (Ginny of Ginny's Austin and Michael of Fed Man Walking) all agreed that this was a very pleasant surprise unlike most media events we've attended!

our first tasting: 2009 Chardonnay

Michael was great and I loved hearing how he got into the business, as well as his descriptions of his wines and the processes he uses to craft them.  The chardonnay was one of the best I've had-- normally I veer from chardonnays because they are so oaky and oversweet.  This one was so floral and had a great mineral quality!

a great accompaniment to Beausoleil oysters!

Louis Jadot Chassagne-Montrachet 2009

Michael was engaging and filled with stories.  I loved hearing how he got into the business, as well as his descriptions of the wines and processes used to draw out certain qualities.  We also sampled a white burgundy from Louis Jadot...which also had a well-balanced minerality and slight nuttiness to it.

this porterhouse was wet aged for 32 days

Trujillo opened the 2009 cabernet just as a massive amount of steak was placed before us-- both the porterhouse you see above an equally giant tomahawk Frenched rib eye which was dry aged for 45 days.

2009 cabernet

 The cabernet was delightful with the meal, with great hints of smoke and berry coming through with each bite! 

I think my favorite wine of the night, however, came out for dessert.  The 2007 Cambium is 72% cab, 22% cab franc, and the remainder merlot.  It was so juicy and had such depth in both mouthfeel and aroma...and was simply delicious paired with chocolate!

Trujillo spoke about his humble beginnings growing up on a farm in southern Colorado... then his break from an engineering degree to take a road trip to California with friends.  His interest in wine began to take flight and peaked some time later when a sip he took in Monterey made him really want to make wine.  He ended up at the Oenology program at UC Davis, but now laughs that he is doing exactly what he was taught not to do in school.  "I think the most interesting wines in the world are the ones that bend the rules," he says.   

live jazz at Eddie V's

"You gotta blaze your own trail," Trujillo said wisely.  "And if you mess up, you got a lot of your own product to drink!" 

I'll cheers to that!