This polished wine gaining more prestige

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Prestigious home: The 2009 Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a part of the Napa Valley referred to as the “Rutherford Bench,” considered the nucleus of the Cabernet district. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media

There is a distinguished parcel of land in the heart of Napa Valley, north of Oakville, where the soils are a gravelly bed of minerals, rich in silt and clay. These alluvial fans are referred to as the “Rutherford Bench” and it is the nucleus of the Cabernet district.

One of the acclaimed properties in this corridor is Sequoia Grove Winery. It was founded in 1979 by Jim Allen who in his quest to create a Bordeaux-styled wine purchased 22 acres of property surrounded by sequoia trees along with an old barn, which was he later converted to a winery. Michael Trujillo became a member of the team in 1982 as Sequoia Grove continued to receive praise for their Cabernets.

In 2002, Allen sold the property to the Kopf family, founders of Kobrand, and Mike Trujillo became president and director of winemaking. The transition included the renovation of the winery and new vineyard holdings from unique sites in Oak Knoll, Stagecoach and the Tonella estate in Rutherford. This investment by Kobrand and the vision held by Trujillo has transformed Sequoia Grove, while elevating the caliber and prestige of their wines to a new level.

The 2009 Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from select estate vineyards sites with 78 percent Cabernet Sauvignon along with a touch of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Petit Verdot. It is aged in all-American Oak. The color is a dark ruby hue with violets and a classic “dusty” Rutherford component that speaks of the typicity of soil. Dark red currant and sweet plum overtones are integrated with notes of cedar, vanilla and a hint of oak. The polish and elegance of the Cabernet will be more evident with a few years of aging.

Suggested Retail: $37.99

W. Peter Hoyne has been a wine journalist for over 20 years, covering stories of national and international significance. While his professional relationships in the wine industry have allowed him to share a unique perspective of wine, he is also intrigued by the culinary aspect and harmony that exist between wine and food. As a wine advocate, he is committed to consumer education and is focused on upcoming trends and American wine-buying habits.