2011 Miner Family Winery ‘The Oracle’ Red Wine, Napa Valley

As a broad generalization, Napa Valley wines made from mountain fruit fared better than Napa wines crafted from valley floor fruit for the 2011 vintage. And so it is with “The Oracle,” a single-vineyard blend from the Stagecoach Vineyard in Napa’s eastern hills. Part of the credit for the excellence of this wine goes to the vineyard, but equal credit goes to winemaker Gary Brookman for coming up with precisely the right blend: 50% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Vedot. With aromas and flavors of red cherry, dark chocolate, blueberry and hints of fennel, eucalyptus and black pepper, it’s an undeniably complex elixir without the bracing tannins that often restrict the immediate enjoyment of Bordeaux-style wines. Perfectly balanced and almost soft on the palate, this is a wine that could be aged or opened tonight — your choice, and you win either way.

MSRP: $90 (October 2015)

Wine Lines rating: 93

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