2009 Miner Family "Wild Yeast" Napa Valley Chardonnay (Elsewhere $40)
As is often the case, Miner's Chardonnay fermented with wild yeast is an intense and very complex wine whose plentiful fruit is laced with toasty spice, and it is made more interesting yet in this outing by suggestions of roasted nuts and a bare touch of dried orange peel. The wine is mouth-filling and supple with a touch of oily richness in feel, yet it is neither soft nor sluggish despite steering away from overt acid. It is rich, it is balanced and it is very long at the finish, and its minor suggestion of heat will be made moot by service with the flavorful foods that it so clearly requests.
A big, rich style, with a yeasty, leesy edge to the baked apple and pear flavors. Shows a strong presence of new smoky oak while remaining balanced overall. Drink now through 2019.
People love their Chardonnay! After all the talk of bringing the style of Chard back down to earth from a balance perspective the truth is the vast majority of folks are still looking for one of those big, oaky, buttery numbers. If you fall into this majority then you should be getting ready to fill your cart with the 2009 Miner Family "Wild Yeast" Napa Valley Chardonnay. Here is a wine that we happily sell every year for around $40 presented to you for an insane price. I can think of no other Chardonnay we have in the store that delivers this much spicy/sweet oak interplay, lush stone fruit and a tons of buttery, lees-y richness for the same cost. But this is also no one trick pony, the levels of complexity here are quite refreshing for a wine of this style with layers of baking spice, cashew, lime blossom, tropical fruits and a lifting note of lemon oil in the finish. We couldn’t be happier with this wine for the style that it so wonderfully represents and at the super secret price we don’t think it is going to be around long. (Bryan Brick, K&L)