The 2007 Miner Viognier, just chill and serve!

Another hot muggy day here in San Diego, what many call the "dog-daze" of summer, when all the parents out there can see relief is now in site, nearly time to get the kids back to school. But there is still nearly a month of hot warms days left here in San Diego and across the country.
So maybe you just want to hang out by the pool and relax, grill some shrimp and scallops, you don't want a big heavy, full-bodied red wine weighing your palate down. I have a great suggestion for you, it's a delightful white wine whose wonderful origins are from Northern Rhone region of France and in particular which is not as famous, but provides some fascinating light quaffing and aromatics Viogner in Condrieu.
The wine I will be reviewing for you today is made in Napa, California and the grapes are sourced from the Simpson Vineyards, Madera, California.
Miner Family Vineyards is tucked away in the eastern hills of Napa's Oakville appellation, MINER FAMILY VINEYARDS which was founded in 1998 by Dave and his wife Emily, who produce small lot, hand crafted wines using a combination of old world wine making techniques and modern technology. Much of the their focus is on high end, reserve style wines which reflect the unique terroir of the individual vineyards where those varietals grow best. But today we are going to stay focused on a wine from their list which is value oriented, but long in flavor and finesse.

The first time I had this wine was during a dinner at the Napa Rose Restaurant at the Walt Disney Resort in Anaheim. This wine was part of a wine pairing extravaganza. I've had plenty of Viognier over the years, at many different price points, but for the price to quality ratio I believe this wines represents a great value, with a screw top to boot for easy access.

The Wine: 2008 Miner Viognier

First Swirl: In the glass this wine has medium straw colored core and pale yellow rim.

First Sniff: This wine is aromatically complex with citrus and honeysuckle notes on the nose.

First Sip: Immediately a plush feel on the palate and consistently displays a fine balance of natural acidity and intense concentration co-mingling nicely with some tropical and stone fruit characteristics.
Alcohol and Price: This wine can be found many places locally for about $16.00 and weighs in at 14% alc. Also since they produced many 1/2 size (375 ml) bottles you will probably find it on many restaurant menus and could be ideal for those not wanting be confined to drinking a whole bottle of wine or transporting a open container.

Other Voices: "This is a totally feminine wine with notes of honey and orange blossom. If you are looking to try a floral wine, this is it." Maureen C. Petrosky is author of The Wine Club: A Month-By-Month Guide to Learning About Wine With Friends.

Press Democrat, September 14, 2008"Has a plush feel, good concentration and good acidity. Floral, with a note of honeysuckle. Balanced."

4 STARS, RESTAURANT WINE ISSUE #128 "A round, medium rich Viognier that tastes of peach, honeysuckle, roasted nut, cherimoya, and toast. Full and well balanced. Excellent value."

Connoisseurs' Guide March 2009 92 POINTS, 2 PUFFS the Miner Family 2007 Viognier ranked 2nd in the March issue out of the 30 plus tasted, including Phelps, DuMol, Pride Viognier.

Vineyards and Composition: This wine is not a blend, it's 100% Viognier start to finish. The grapes are sourced from John Simpson's low-yielding vineyards in Madera, this wine was whole cluster pressed and stainless steel fermented to allow the vibrant purity of this fruit to shine through. Even though I am not a fan of this process in Chadonnay, in this grape variety it works beautifully! There is somewhere between four and five thousand cases of this wine available.

My Recommendation: This is a wine to stock up on and a sure crowd pleaser. It pairs well with many foods and is easy on the wallet. Drink now and drink often. I would buy a half case and since this wine is not really meant for long term aging, sitting in your pantry for storage poses no problem. Just slip a few in the fridge and have some very enjoyable quaffing, until next time cheers everyone!
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