2011 was a tough vintage for many winemakers. Rains came late in the harvest season and forced many to pick their grapes early, for fear of grapes rotting on the vine; some chose to ride out the rains and let the grapes receive the hang-time they needed in order to ripen appropriately. Overall though, the late rain and cooler harvest temperatures yielded variability in the vintage. Now, this is but one way of looking at the 2011 vintage—and one that is far too often spoken about.
We’re here to tell you that depending on terroir of an individual vineyard, there were in fact winemakers who fared incredibly well with the 2011 vintage. Terroir is everything, and when rainfall hits and temperatures drop at harvest time, your aspect of slope and elevation matter greatly. Mountainous vineyards, which are inherently cooler with far more elevation than their valley floors counterparts, did very well in the 2011 vintage. This is incredibly evident with Miner Family Wines’ new 2011 release of The Oracle, which is their premier Bordeaux bottling made from grapes grown in the Stagecoach Vineyard.
The Stagecoach Vineyard is nestled up against the eastern hills of Napa Valley, situated at 1,500 foot elevation—well above the fog line. The soils in this vineyard are rocky and mixed with red, yellow and pink clay loam, as well as a wide variety of volcanic-based soils. The vineyard was first planted in 1995 and is current owned and farmed by Jan Krupp of the Krupp Family. Miner Family Wines is pleased to be working with this vineyard site and the quality of its fruit continues to shine, year after year, in their illustrious bottlings made from this vineyard. The excellent terroir of the Stagecoach Vineyard was not phased by the difficult weather in the 2011 vintage, and ultimately produced very focused grapes with serious flavor concentration and complexity.
The new 2011 release of Miner Family Winery “The Oracle” is a beautiful example of how well mountainous fruit did during this difficult vintage. Enticing aromas of dried red cherries, blueberry, dark chocolate, leather, fresh fennel and black pepper abound on the nose. As the wine remains in the glass a bit longer, the complex aromatics continue to evolve—showing more floral and spice-filled aromas of juniper, eucalyptus, violets and clove. The palate is equally as intricate and complex, with a myriad of fruit and savory flavors. Fruit notes of dried red cherry, strawberry, raspberry and blueberry mingle with more savory notes of cocoa, bittersweet chocolate, dried leather, cured meat and clay. Rounding out these flavors is a luscious body with medium level tannins that are pleasantly soft around the edges.
This new release is simply gorgeous in our Stolzle glass, and drinks incredibly well—having been aged for 20 months in new French oak and another two years in bottle before release. Simply stated, this wine is ready to drink now because Miner Family appropriately aged the wine for the perfect amount of time before releasing it.
Bottom line, this family not only makes incredible wines but has a sense of responsibility and cares about the greater good. So, grab a bottle and feel good about raising a glass, awareness and funds! To get your hands on a bottle of this phenomenal red Bordeaux varietal blend, visit www.minerwines.com.
#TheOracleHasSpoken – Cheers!
*Originally published on Feast it Forward.