Miner Family Wines Not Minor Wines
Great Napa Vintages
By: Philip S.Kampe - Feb 23, 2016
Maybe it’s me, but, I really like to age my better wines a little longer then the norm. Some wineries release wine to be consumed immediately and others wait until the appropriate time.
Oakville, California’s Miner Family Winery understands that aging before release is essential
The Real Story of Miner Family Wines: Dave Miner’s uncle, Robert Miner, had always been a huge influence on Dave. His passion for wine was the main ingredient needed to stimulate Dave’s love for wine. Robert Miner, who owned Oakville Ranch Vineyards, fell ill and reached out to Dave. He asked Dave to run his winery during his absence.
Dave agreed and made the move from Houston. This was 1993.
There the story begins.
In 1994, Oakville Ranch Vineyards hired a tasting room manager, named Emily, a Minnesota transplant. She meets Dave, they fall in love and marry. Dave remains as the President of Oakville Ranch Vineyards, but, in 1996, Dave and Emily take the leap and personally become a custom crush client.
They start their own wine business, share Oakville Ranch Vineyards winemaker, Gary Brookman, and have their own label (1997). Dave’s parents, Ed & Norma, join Dave & Emily as owners. (It’s already a family business before producing the first bottle).
After a year and a half of preparation, Miner Family Wines debuts in 1999.
In 2001, Oracle was released and to this day is their flagship wine.
In 2004, Miner Family Wines were named as one of the ‘Top Five American Wines of 2004’ by Bon Appetit Magazine.
Many awards have followed, including being honored by Wine & Spirits Magazine as a Top 100 ‘Winery of the Year’. In 2007, the 2004 Wild Yeast Chardonnay was featured at a White House dinner. Since then, on five other occasions their wines have been included on Government menus.
In 2008, Miner Family Wines became totally solar dependent. 2013 marked the year that winemaker Gray Brookman was named General Manager and associate winemaker, Stacy Vogel took over as the head winemaker.
Today, the winery is thriving. Dave’s goal of using the sourced land to grow international varieties has made the winery a worldwide leader.
The tasting room is usually packed during the season, which extends longer and longer each year.
Every year since 2005, the Benedetto Jazz Concert & Release Party takes place to release the limited production Benedetto Series Cabernet. The back story is that Mr.Benedetto makes guitars and annually makes a model that uses Miner Cabernet Sauvignon to stain the guitar's face..
Sourcing grapes from nearby grape growers has been what many of this vineyard's iconic wines have been built around. Stagecoach Vineyard, owned and farmed by Joe Krupp, is known for grapes that are age worthy and bold. The red, rocky, volcanic soil contributes favorably to the outcome of the varietals planted: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Syrah and Marsanne. Gary’s Vineyard is located in the Santa Lucia Highlands and is known for producing some of the finest Pinot Noir grapes in California. Other grape sources for Miner Family Wines include: Rosella’s Vineyard, Sierra Mar Vineyard, Genny’s Vineyard, Hudson Vineyard, Hyde Vineyard, Naggiar Vineyard and Gibson Ranch.
2011 Miner Oracle (Napa Valley Red Blend) 14.4% alcohol
1,020 cases produced
49%Merlot/ 38% Cabernet Sauvignon/ 10% Cabernet Franc/ 3% Petit Verdot
The flagship, Bordeaux-style blend is full-bodied, elegant and well balanced. Layered dark fruit driven nuances mix with sweet panettone spice, vanilla flakes from Madagascar and Spanish cocoa to create this decadent wine. ($90)
2012 Miner Gary’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir (14.3% alcohol)
790 cases produced
100% Pinot Noir
Dark rotten fruit with a hint of under ripe strawberry and zesty nutmeg join the tame tannins that make-up this 15 month aged, with new French oak (70%) wine. Best to cellar until 2019 ($45)
2012 Miner Stagecoach Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (14.4% alcohol)
810 cases produced
91% Cabernet Sauvignon
9% Cabernet Franc
Aged 21 months using 60% new French oak. Black cherry, licorice and leather impress the palate. Pronounced tannins flatten as this wine ages. Lush & elegant. A crowd pleaser in the making. ($60)
2012 Miner Stagecoach Vineyard Napa Valley Merlot (14.7% alcohol)
1180 cases produced. Hand picked.
10% Cabernet Sauvignon
8% Cabernet Franc
Aged 21 months using 55% new French oak
Juicy, fruit forward with a long, lingering finish. ($40)
2011 Miner Wild Yeast Napa Valley Chardonnay (14.1% alcohol)
Bright acidity, full-bodied, lush mouth feel. Flavors of vanilla, nutella, bosc pear and caramel blend with the wild yeast fermentation from the skins of the grapes. ($45)
2013 Miner Napa Valley Chardonnay (14.3% alcohol)
7,630 cases produced
Fermentation consists of ten months and 40% new French oak, 40% stainless and 50% malolactic fermentation. Light & crisp with flavors of rome apple, orange melon, grapefruit, lime, lemon and mango. The bright acidity of the wine entertains the palate.
Miner Family Wines are not minor wines.