Hunt McKay Wine (KaDieM Cellars) is a small production label formed by a partnership of winemaker, Michael Trujillo and his friends Danna and Karen. The creation of the name was formed by taking the first three letters of each of their first names and phonetically spelling this out. The three intertwined glasses on the wine label signify this partnership, their friendship and a toast in the spirit of passion – passion to create hand crafted world class wines. As Michael says, and perhaps somewhat of a rarity as conversation about starting projects is cheap – “KaDieM was a dream out loud that actually came true”!
Michael has long focused both on both wine making, sales and marketing and the hospitality side of the business. With KaDieM his focus is entirely on making the wine without any of these side distractions. This is a very good partnership as Danna has been in the wine industry 20+ years working in many facets of the business. Like Michael, she knew very little about the wine industry when she first moved to Napa. She led the Marketing and Public Relations for several area wineries. She oversees these responsibilities for KaDieM as well as helping with the packaging and labeling strategy for the wines.
Danna then “passes” the wine to Karen. Karen has lived in the Napa Valley for 15 years. Her focus is on the sales – she has led previous sales organizations for several larger wineries in the Napa Valley. Respectively, this 3-way partnership seamlessly combines each of their strengths in the wine business.
Michael originally came to the valley in 1982 not knowing anything about wine due to a fortuitous circumstance when his family told him to meet a family friend who lived out west in Napa. The family friend was in fact, Jim Allen, the owner of Sequoia Grove. With a background in farming, it was natural that Michael would be attracted to the land. He started his first work in the wine industry in the vineyards – then moved into the cellar part time at Sequoia Grove, began making their wine and now is the director of Wine making and President of the winery.
With Sequoia Grove’s location in Rutherford and other vineyard sources from this sub appellation, Michael has become extremely familiar with the area and the wines it produces. He has made wine up and down the valley from various vineyards over the decades but keeps returning to his “sweet spot” for Cabernet Sauvignon – the Morisoli Vineyard in Rutherford.
The 2010 vintage (KaDieM’s second vintage) shows very dark ruby in the glass with dark fruit and complex aromas on the bouquet. The nose is opulent, lively, pretty and inviting. Initially it shows notes of forest floor, mushrooms, earthy characteristics. As it is allows to open, the bouquet changes dramatically, it reveals perfume notes of black cherry and blackberry. There is a subtle gravelly component as the wine continues to open in the glass.
It is soft on the entry, delivering flavors of red cherry, dusty blackberry, pleasing spices from the oak, licorice as well as dusty tannins that are fairly well integrated on the finish. The tannins show more so on the front of the palate rather then the back. The finish is clean with just a touch of toasted oak and the fruit lingers for some time. This wine has a nice density on the palate; this is a style of wine that will pair well with a variety of meats. Only 275 cases of were made.
Their focus is currently on a single vineyard, single varietal, single wine each year. However that may change in the future – as they may introduce a Sauvignon blanc into their portfolio. The wine is selectively distributed – with much being sold through their mailing list. For more information visit: www.huntmckay.com