Mi Sueno, “My Dream,” is a brand I’ve long admired but have recently fallen out of touch with. This Napa-based passion project from Rolando and Lorena Herrera, who each immigrated to the United States from Mexico in the 1970s and 1980s, As the winery notes, “Rolando Herrera became an integral part of the Napa Valley winemaking community as he worked his way up from harvest laborer to cellar master. Over the span of many years, he and Lorena’s hard work, raw talent, and network of dedicated mentors led them to produce a wine under their own label in 1997. That wine was a Napa Valley Chardonnay, fittingly named Mi Sueño—Spanish for ‘My Dream.’”
Need a little more dramatic back story? Dig this:
Rolando started his career in the Napa Valley in 1982 as a modest dishwasher at the exclusive Auberge du Soleil restaurant. Over the span of 15 years, his resume of employers began to read like the who’s who of the Napa Valley—from the legendary Warren Winiarski, founder of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, to winemaking great Paul Hobbs. Each experience was an opportunity to learn more, and with every move Rolando harnessed his work ethic with his love of farming and wine. In 1997, while working as director of winemaking for Paul Hobbs Wines, Rolando summoned the courage to create his own Chardonnay. It was the year of his marriage to Lorena, and together they wanted to make something they could own, but that would also serve as a “resume in a bottle.” The wine sold out three vintages in a row, and Rolando and Lorena realized they were on their way to making their dream come true.
Only a few years later, the 1999 vintage of the Mi Sueño Los Carneros Chardonnay was served at a White House state dinner honoring Mexican President Vicente Fox. The newest release of this wine is true to its inaugural style—a hybrid of Burgundy elegance and rich Napa personality. The 2015 bottling is also being released with a new label. The clean and more modern design reflects the winery’s forward-thinking ability while still paying homage to a humble dream from many years ago.
Let’s dig into Mi Sueno’s 2015 chardonnay from the Carneros region.
An oak and butter bomb at the outset, there’s a brightness to this wine, which finds notes of pear and mango laced into the otherwise straightforward vanilla-citrus profile. Almost unctuous at times with notes of marshmallow cream and lemon curd, this is a bold and mouth-filling wine that demands a substantial meal to pair with it.
A- / $42 / misuenowinery.com