Michael Trujillo is one of the iconic Latino winemakers in Napa Valley, California. I met him some years ago when I stopped at the Sequoia Grove tasting salon to try some of their wines. He immediately impressed me with his passion for wine and conversation. As Director of Winemaking, he has done a tremendous job at Sequoia and recently was appointed as CEO and President. His mission is to continue producing 38,000 cases of high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon.
Through his success with the Karl Lawrence label, Trujillo has developed a reputation for serious winemaking. After he dissolved his partnership in 2013, he went on to start his own label, "Trujillo Wines," another rising star among the Hispanic wine labels in Napa.
"I'm trying to do a Cult Wine without the Cult Wine price," he told me.
He's making 600 cases of a fantastic and fruit-forward Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with elegant notes, as well as 180 cases of a Bordeaux-style blend he calls "Madelynne" (paying tribute to his daughter's and wife's names).
"I think my reputation comes from my tradition of cellaring wines, being patient."
He's in the process of starting a line of white and rose, and he spends most of his time promoting and marketing his labels, which for now are only available through small boutique retailers and restaurants.
When I had the opportunity to taste both the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Madelynne, I couldn't help but think about the great wine some Latinos are making in California and how this is impacting the footprint of our community in the wine industry.
Trujillo Wines "Madelynne" Red Wine Cuvee 2013
Region: Napa Valley
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Aromas: Red fruit, raspberry and blueberries
Flavors: Ripe fruit, vanilla, red currant
Impression: Approachable, easy to drink
Structure: Balanced, versatile
Drink with: Beef fajitas, pizza, barbacoa Why I loved this wine? This wine has a great, fruity flavor