Dave Miner started up his eponymous winery in 1996 with Gary Brookman, formerly with Phelps, joining as winemaker. He sources fruit from California’s premier vineyards. His wines are good and expensively presented with fine labels and impressive bottles. See our reviews below.
In 2013, seventeen years the founding of Miner Family Winery, Gary Brookman was named General Manager, and Stacy Vogel joined Miner as winemaker. Miner’s fruit comes from Hudson, Genny’s and Hyde Vineyards in Los Carneros; Rosella, Sierra Mar and Garys’ in the Santa Lucia Highlands; Stagecoach in Napa; Gibson in Mendocino and Naggiar in the Sierra Foothills. Miner makes a wide variety of wines, both single vineyard and vineyard blends. Our favorite is The Oracle, a Merlot based Bordeaux blend from Napa Valley’s Stagecoach Vineyard that is complex, intense, and nicely crafted.
Miner 2013 Chardonnay Napa Valley ($34) 89 Medium yellow straw. Revealing scents of cling peach, lemon curd, and honeysuckle, this Chardonnay is prototypical Californian in its lush fruit, full flavors, and smoky hazelnut notes. It’s a well balanced wine with a long rich finish. Sourced from several Napa Valley vineyards including Hyde and Hudson in Los Carneros. Fermented 70% in barrel, 30% stainless steel with 50% malo and 10 months in 45% new French oak. 13.9% alc.
Miner 2011 Chardonnay Wild Yeast Napa Valley ($50) 90 The Wild Yeast Chardonnay is thickly textured, showing mango and tropical fruit, sweet coconut and a touch of vanilla bean. Barrel fermented, full malo, and aged 16 months in 70% new French oak, firm tannins keep the sweet fruit in check, resulting in a nicely balanced, richly flavored wine. Made from all Napa fruit.
Miner 2012 Pinot Noir Garys’ Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands ($60) 90+ Medium red. This well-made Pinot Noir is sourced from one of the best vineyards of the Santa Lucia Highlands–Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir. The wine is nicely balanced, refined and delicate, lighter than other wines we’ve tasted from this vineyard. It shows understated red cherry and plum fruit with spice notes on a medium weight palate. Aged 15 months in 70% new French oak.
Miner 2012 Merlot Stagecoach Vineyard Napa Valley ($40) 89 This single vineyard Merlot reveals a perfumed mélange of dark red berries, underbrush and spicy oak that are mirrored on a smooth, nicely weighted palate. Dry tannins outweight fruit on the finish, which a bit more time in bottle may help resolve. It’s a blend of 82% Merlot, 10% Caberner Sauvignon, and 8% Cabernet Franc aged 21 months in 55% new French oak. 14.7% alcohol
Miner 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard Napa Valley ($75) 89 Deep scarlet red. The single vineyard Stagecoach Cabernet shows dense dark fruit, fresh flavors, and a thick texture. It’s a big wine with gritty tannins that shows more power than elegance. Made of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Cabernet Franc aged 21 months in 60% new French oak.
Miner 2011 The Oracle Napa Valley ($90) 91 This is the 10th vintage of The Oracle, a Merlot based Bordeaux blend from mountain vineyards. The wine reveals concentrated dark red fruit and dark earth aromas and flavors, a velvet smooth, layered mouth feel, and nicely integrated toasty oak. The tannins are firm and round, and the finish lingers. A blend of 50% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot that sees 20 months in 50% new French oak.