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Miner Family Wild Yeast Chardonnay 2009

Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
  • CG92
14.4% ABV
  • WS91
  • WS92
  • W&S92
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14.4% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Full-bodied and lush, yet never heavy, Miner Wild Yeast Chardonnay shows off flavors of ripe pear and melon with butterscotch and hazelnut notes, balanced by oak spice and bright acidity. This is a wildly expressive wine that will reward a few years of patient cellaring. The grapes are fermented using only indigenous or "wild" yeast cultures found on the skins of the grapes themselves, in the vineyards and within the walls of the winery.

Critical Acclaim

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CG 92
Connoisseurs' Guide
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 mouthilling 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.
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Miner Family

Miner Family

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Miner Family, , California
Miner Family
Founded in 1988 by Dave Miner, president of Oakville Ranch Vineyards, along with his wife Emily and his parents, Ed and Norma, Miner Family Vineyards produces small lot, handcrafted wines using fruit from Oakville Ranch, Ed and Norma's vineyard and other carefully selected California vineyards. Best known for their Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, they also produce limited quantities of other varietals using a combination of old world winemaking techniques and modern technology. Their focus is on producing high end, reserve-style wines that reflect the unique characteristics of individual vineyards or terrior where those specific varietals grow best.

Sonoma County

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Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for nearly every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa, the region only produces about half the amount of wine, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in both quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.

Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River and Sonoma Valleys, Carneros, and Fort Ross-Seaview. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

ULL546103_09_2009 Item# 125324

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