Mi Sueño Winery Syrah, Napa Valley 2017

Deep purple color; cherry, raspberry, dark fruits, bacon on the nose; plum, blueberry, cherry, dark fruits, oak spice on the palate.

Mi Sueño Winery Syrah, Napa Valley 2017

Dry; significant, tasty tannins. Oak from 20 months in 55% new French oak, but sidles past becoming an oak monster. Medium-plus body. Pure syrah play; 14.5% ABV.

The winery is the accomplishment of Rolando and Lorena Herrera and it is the American dream. Rolando left his home in El Llano, Michoacán, Mexico, to make a life in the Napa Valley. After five years, the family returned to Mexico, but Rolando missed the American way of life. He and his brother returned to St. Helena and enrolled in high school, supporting themselves by working as a night-shift dishwasher. He work as a harvest laborer at Stag’s Leap following graduation. Over the next 10 years, he worked his way up at Stag’s Leap to become cellar master.

Herrera family home in Mexico

Rolando’s career ascent continued: assistant winemaker at Chateau Potelle, winemaker at Vine Cliff Winery, director of winemaking at Paul Hobbs Consultuing. In 1997, Rolando make 200 cases of chardonnay as a side project—grapes he purchased from Lorena’s father—and Mi Sueño (Spanish for “my dream”) was born. In 2004, he gave up his full-time jobs at other wineries and committed everything to Mi Sueño.

Lorena is the oldest child of Reynaldo and Maria Robledo, who came to Napa from Mexico as migrant workers in the late 1960s. Raising their nine children, the Herreras communicated their pride in tending vines and raising grapes. Today, her family owns more than 350 acres of vineyards in Napa, Sonoma, and Lake counties. Lorena and Ronaldo met at church and developed a friendship that lasted a decade before marrying in 1997, the same year she helped Rolando found Mi Sueño. The couple found joy with six children since the union. They name each of the six wines in their exclusive (just 100-case production) after their children.

Rolando and Lorena marry

By 2008, the Mi Sueño Russian River Pinot Noir was poured at the George Bush White House. Two years later, the Herrera Selección Rebecca Cabernet Sauvignon was poured at President Obama’s first-ever state dinner, one that honored Mexican President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa. You don’t get a clearer demonstration of what value immigrants bring to America, and the inspiring saga of the American dream. America is great because we welcome and embrace talent and work ethic from people around the world. This is yet another story and proof of that.

Mi Sueño Winery Syrah, Napa Valley 2017 delivers rich, engaging fruit. Tracks very well with my celebratory notes of the 2015 effort. Sadly, Mi Sueño is so good, you likely will not to find it at your wine store. Forget the grocery. Go to the wine website and get on the wine club or allocation list. The Herreras have not gone massive production, they have gone massively excellent wine. As a consumer, you pay for that, you even have to work to get it. Worth the effort. Pair with hearty, rich meats; grilled steaks; lamb; barbecue; wild game; sausage; sheep-milk cheese. But this is delicious solo with wine crackers and engaging conversation. $50-55

Mi Sueno website with inspiring features and photos.

Rolando Herrera and vineyard
Herrera family