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Wine of the Week: Miner Family Napa Valley winery delivers great summer barbecue wines

Dwight Casimere | 7/20/2017, 11 a.m.
Look no further than California's famed Napa Valley and Miner Family Winery for some terrific summer barbecue wines that are ...

Look no further than California's famed Napa Valley and Miner Family Winery for some terrific summer barbecue wines that are sure to set your garden party head and shoulders above all others.

The wines are complex, but designed to please with lush fruit flavors, a nice balance of natural acidity and intense concentration that allows the flavors to really shine through and complement just about everything that comes off the grill. Grilled meat dishes, such as grass fed beef burgers with blue cheese or grilled bison steak brushed with olive oil and rosemary are the perfect pairings with 2014 Miner Winery Emily's Cabernet Sauvignon ($50). This decidedly Bordeaux-style red combines 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot in a highly expressive and elegant blend that honors the wine's muse, Miner Family Winery co-founder Emily Miner. Founded in 1998 by Dave and Emily Miner along the eastern hills of Oakville appellation in the heart of Napa Valley, Miner crafts reserve-style wines using only fruit sourced from the Napa Valley.

One sip of their crisp 2016 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($22) and you'd swear you were walking through a grove of fresh fruit dotted with bushes of sage, rosemary and fennel. They have the natural flavors and aromas that shine through this aromatic beauty. Fermented and aged entirely in stainless steel tanks to preserve the taste and smell of fresh-cut melon and juicy pink grapefruit, their hint of fennel and sage makes it a perfect match for shellfish, particularly mussels or clams doused in a bit of the wine with chopped fennel or fennel seeds, finely chopped garlic, shallots or green onions and a tablespoon of finely chopped cilantro. Have a bit of crusty hearth-baked artisanal bread on hand to help sop up the juices!

Wondering what to pair with those chicken thighs brushed with garlic and rosemary that have been smoking quietly on t he edges of the grill over hardwood and dying charcoal embers? That's the perfect time to roll out a bottle of 2016 Miner Simpson Vineyard California Viognier. This is the quintessential food wine. Vibrant golden color and bursts of tropical fruit and white peaches make this a vibrant wine that just sings the Song of Summer. These wines were made in limited quantities, so if you see them on the shelf, stock up with a mixed case or two. Considering their exceptional flavor, I doubt seriously if they'll make it through the duration of the season!