Anaba Wines Reviewed | Realizing a Dream in Sonoma
Anaba Winery is rather conveniently located in Carneros at the ‘gateway’ to Sonoma Valley, so it is amongst the very first wineries you’ll spot as you make your getaway from San Francisco to wine country for the weekend.
Yet despite driving past Anaba’s charming, recently-restored 100 year old farmhouse building more than a handful of times I have surprisingly never stopped by to check them out – as I always seem to be on a mission to get to some producer that’s not so conveniently located.
But sometimes the obvious choice is a rather good one and the only way to tell if Anaba is a tourist trap or or a solid producer is to taste their wines!
Anaba Sonoma Valley Turbine White 2013: An intriguing Rhone-inspired blend consisting of 42% Roussanne, 20% Grenache Blanc, 20% Picpoul Blanc and 18% Marsanne aged 8 months in French oak (30% new). It pours a golden hay color in the glass. The nose is quite vivid and reveals notes of white flowers and lemon curd along with subtle suggestions of orange peel and limestone minerality which carry through to a lush mouthfeel that manages to be both creamy as well as zesty with a healthy dollop of acidity. It finishes dry with hints of ginger spice. Delicious.
Score: 92 | Price: $28
Anaba Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2012: 100% Pinot Noir aged 11 months sur lees in French oak (40% new). It pours a vivid medium-garnet color and reveals fragrant aromas of cherry pie, cranberry, raspberry and rhubarb framed by subtle suggestions of smoke and mushroom. In the mouth it’s medium body reveals a juicy, racy, floral, slightly tart personality. The lengthy finish is accompanied by hints of nutmeg spice. A very charming Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir that really grows on you.
Score: 90 | Price: $34
Value Proposition | Anaba Wines
A lifelong dream came to fruition when John Sweazey founded Anaba Wines. Motivated by his time exploring the Rhone Valley and throughout other notable wine regions in France, he sought to bring beautifully-crafted, traditional Rhone Valley varietals to Sonoma at an affordable price.
During his time in the Rhone, he recognized the similarity between the key Mistral winds that cool the grapes in the Rhone and the Anabatic winds that serve a similar function in Sonoma – hence the inspiration for the name Anaba.
These wines represent why there is so much to love about Sonoma County and it’s expansive, incredibly diverse growing regions. While the Anaba Turbine White from Sonoma Valley resembles white blends hailing from the Northern Rhone, the Anaba Pinot Noir from cooler Sonoma Coast seems to draw its inspiration from the exalted region of Burgundy.
Anaba has created two excellent, reasonably-priced wines that are both so completely different. My conclusion? Sometimes it pays to be touristy!
**Wines were received as media samples for purposes of review. No consideration was received from Anaba Winery for this article.