Miner Family Vineyards Oakville
Established relatively recently, Miner Family Vineyard was founded in 1998. The principle source of fruit for the range is the Oakville Ranch, where Dave Miner was president. Other Napa vineyards are also used as well as Gary’s, Sierra Mar and Rossella’s vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands for striking Pinot Noir, and the Simpson Vineyard in Madera County for a floral, medium-bodied Viognier. A Wild Yeast example is now made from the site as well. Merlot comes from the Stagecoach Vineyard. Fine, impressively structured Cabernet Sauvignon comes from Oakville, along with the Stagecoach Vineyard and there is now a red meritage, The Oracle, which blends Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc as well as a little Malbec and Petit Verdot. A Cab Franc and Malbec are also made. Grenache, Sangiovese, Tempranillo and Petite Sirah are also now offered as is a small amount of Sauvignon Blanc which comes from vineyards near Yountville and is part barrel and part stainless steel-fermented. The Chardonnays, particularly the Wild Yeast, are very impressive. The wines are barrel-fermented with full malolactic and handled in mainly new oak. The Wild Yeast bottling is exotically tropical, rich and very concentrated. A number of similarly priced examples are released from single vineyard sources. La Diligence is a fine smoky, black and spicy Syrah produced in association with François VILLARD of Condrieu and a key auction favourite at the annual Hospices du Rhône weekend in May. A white example is also made from Marsanne. Look out also for a Roussanne and The Iliad, a blend of Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier. In general the wines are very approachable young, although the Cabernet based reds need a little time. (DM)
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