Wine of the Week: Miner Napa Valley Chardonnay Napa Valley 2016 - $32

By Dwight Casimere – wine@thetimesweekly.com

Spring is finally here. It's time to welcome a wine that ushers in the

season with style. Miner Napa Valley Chardonnay 2016 ($32) is a perfect

example of everything you'd expect in a Napa Valley Chardonnay and more. It

has all of the classic earmarks; buttery and elegant, it is bursting with

crisp Delicious Apple, ripe melon and citrus flavors of pineapple, mandarin

orange and a splash of Meyer lemon. There's a light hint of Tahitian

cinnamon from French Oak aging, but its so beautifully incorporated that

you hardly notice it. This is the wine that put Miner on the map, and

rightly so.

Miner Family Winery is a relative newcomer as things go in the

valley, but its genesis is steeped in valley history and pedigree. Founder

David Miner got his start as President of Oakville Ranch Vineyards, which

was owned by his late uncle Robert Miner. Miner Family Winery was born in

1996, when David decided to become a custom crush client of the winery and

start his own label. Emily Miner, a graduate of Santa Clara University,

becomes tasting room manager at Oakville where she and David met and fell

in love. In 1997, Joseph Phelps alum Gary Brookman comes on board as

winemaker and the rest is history. The winery's aging caves are carved out

of the hills above the Silverado Trail in the heart of the Napa Valley, and

after a 15 month process and a year of celebrations, Dave and Emily marry

and the winery issues its first wines under its own label. Hallelujah!

If I'm not grilling, I love to make one pot meals in my slow cooker. One of

my favorites is pan seared boneless chicken thighs with fresh herbs from

my garden. Almost any variety will do, its your choice, I prefer oregano

and thyme. Add a mix of multi colored carrots, chunks of red and yellow

onions and shallots, a couple of cloves of garlic and a half cup of the

Miner Chardonnay and let cook for an hour or two while you enjoy a

leisurely glass of Miner Chardonnay. A side salad of mixed Organic Spring

Greens with added Arugula, slices of avocado, a handful of crumbled goat

cheese and a dressing of lemon juice and garlic infused Extra Virgin Olive

Oil and you've got an al fresco lunch that will have your neighbors

attempting to climb the fence to join in the party.