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by Tom Hill

A self-admitted wine geek, Tom lives in Northern New Mexico and works as a computational physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory doing numerical neutron transport & large scale code development. He has been tasting wines since 1971, participates locally with a couple of large tasting groups in his area, and is practically a fixture at most California wine festivals, such as the Hospice du Rhône, Rhône Rangers, and ZAP. Other interests: Tom is heavily into competitive sport fencing (foil & epee), biking, cooking, basketball, skiing, backpacking, mountain climbing.

Anaba Wines - September 1, 2010

We tasted the other night (9/1/10) Mostly Anaba Wines:

  1. Anaba Chard SonomaCoast (14.2%; www.AnabaWines.com; Bacigalupi/Fallen Leaf/Sangiacomo/
    Bonneau Haddad vnyds) Sonoma 2007
    : Med.gold color; ripe melony/mango/Chard rather spicy some toasty/butterscotchy/oak quite attractive nose; fairly soft/lush melony/mango/tropical fruit/Chard some toasty/caramel/oak slight earthy/spicy flavor; long soft/lush rather toasty/caramel/oak lush/melony/ mango/Chard some spicy/nutmeg finish; an attractive ripe/lush somewhat oaked Chard at a fair price. $26.00
  2. Anaba Viognier LandaVnyd/SonomaVlly (14.1%) 2007: Med.gold color; quite fragrant pear/Viog slight herbal/grassy pleasant Viog nose; soft light pear/Viog bit toasty/oak low-key flavor; med.short soft light pear/Viog light toasty/oak finish; a pleasant/attractive Viog on the nose but not delivers much on the palate. $28.00
  3. Anaba Coriol SonomaVlly WW (14.2%; 48% Roussanne/30% Viog/LandaVnyd /12% Marsanne/
    10% GrenacheBlanc; balance from Williamson vnyd) 2008
    : Light gold color; lovely/fragrant floral/pear/peach/Viog/honeysuckle clean some spicy nose; soft/fat very lush/floral/peach/ripe/Viog/ honeysuckle lovely flavor; long very fragrant/floral/peach/Viog/honeysuckle soft/ripe finish; speaks more of Viog than the Viog does; a bit on the soft side but lovely aromatics. $28.00
  4. Anaba SonomaVlly Pink (100% Grenache; 13.9%) 2009: Pale pink/salmon/copper color; strong fragrant strawberry/bubble gum/DoubleBubble grapey clean nose; soft/lush/fat very grapey/ DoubleBubble/bubble gum strawberry flavor; med.long soft/fat very grapey/strawberry/DoubleBubble finish; lots of floral/bubble gum character but would like a bit more acidity. $22.00
  5. Anaba PinotNoir SonomaCoast (14.5%) 2007: Light color; attractive bright/cherry/PN/spicy some toasty/smoky/oak pleasant nose; light slightly bitter some toasty/smoky/oak light cherry/PN/grapey/Nehi soda pop simple flavor; med.short grapey/cherry/soda pop/strawberry/PN some toasty/oak finish w/ light tannins; a rather soda popy/simple Pinot. $28.00
  6. Anaba PinotNoir JMcK Vnyd/Carneros/Sonoma (14.5%; Estate) 2007: Med.light color; deeper more black cherry/PN/spicy some earthy/Burgundian light toasty/oak nose; tart black cherry/PN/spicy somewhat earthy/Burgundian light toasty/oak/pencilly slightly bitter flavor; med.long black cherry/PN/ spicy some earthy/Burgundian/toasty/oak slightly bitter finish; a rather attractive somewhat Burgundian style of Pinot. $32.00
  7. Anaba SonomaVlly Red (14.9%; 52% Zinfandel/36% Grenache/12% Syrah) 2008: Med.dark color; strong spicy/Zin/blackberry light toasty/oak pleasant nose; soft/fat some tannic/bitter bit dusty/earthy slightly alcoholic fairly strong blackberry/Zin light oak/toasty rough/rustic flavor; med.long raspberry/Zin/ blackberry some toasty/oak finish; needs a yr or two; a rather rough/rustic Zin; pricey for what it is. $34.00
  8. Anaba Coriol SonomaVlly RW (14.5%; 38% Grenache/LandaVnyd /27% Mourvedre/25% PetiteSirah/10% Counoise) 2007: Very dark color; strong blackberry/spicy/plummy/peppery light toasty/charred/oak quite attractive nose; soft ripe/plummy/blackberry/strawberry fairly toasty/oak light tannic flavor; med.long spicy/plummy/blackberry/strawberry rather toasty/oak finish w/ modest tannins; an attractive/pleasant Rhone blend. $28.00
  9. Anaba LateHrvst Viognier NelsonVnyd/Mendocino (SaH: 34 Brix; RS: 12.1 gm/100ml; 12.1%; botrytis) 2008: Med.dark gold color; very intense botrytis/peachy/fruit cocktail no Viog character beautiful/aromatic nose like Sauternes w/o the oak; tart/lush intense peachy/peach syrup/fruit cocktail/botrytis very lush/grapey beautiful flavor; very long/lingering intense grapey/peachy/botrytis/ fruit cocktail very sweet/lush/ripe finish that goes on & on; some very grapey/passito character atop beautiful peachy/botrytis character; no Viognier character that I can tell; a terrific Calif Sauternes-
    style dessert wine at a great price; has the acidity & structure to age. $25.00/hlf
  10. Aero WhitePortWine SonomaVlly (18.4%; RS: 9.4%; Viognier; SaH: 28 Brix) P&B by CastleVnyds/Sonoma NV: Light yellow color; quite grapey some alcoholic/hot/fumey nose w/ no Viog character I could identify; rather sweet very strong grapey/ripe/clean some alcoholic/hot flavor; very long fairly sweet intense/grapey bit alcoholic/fumey/hot finish; a rather strange beast of a wine and not quite sure where it fits at table; no idea what it will age into. $27.00/hlf
  11. Aero RedPortWine SonomaVlly (18.6%; RS: 10.5%; SaH: 30 Brix; Syrah) NV: Black color; very intense grapey/Porto-like somewhat fumey/alcoholic interesting nose; rather sweet very intense grapey/porty/boysenberry/bit framboise somewhat alcoholic/porty/hot somewhat tannic flavor; very long intense grapey/porty fairly sweet somewhat alcoholic/hot/fumey finish w/ some tannins; lots of young Porto character and should age into something  really interesting I suspect. $27.00/hlf
  12. ErnaSchein Syrah AlderSpringsVnyd/Mendocino (14.9%; Homage to EdOlivera;
    www.ErnaSchein.com) LesBehrens/LisaDrinkward 2005
    : Very dark color; intense blackberry/Syrah/ boysenberry/Oz-like bit volatile/fumey huge/toasty/oak very spicy bit herbal/earthy interesting nose; soft/fat rather overripe slight fumey/ hot intense blackberry/Syrah/boysenberry big/toasty/charred/oak slight earthy/herbal flavor; long fat/soft overripe/lush/boysenberry/Syrah/Oz-like big/toasty/oak slight herbal/earthy finish w/ some tannins; needs more age yet; the AlderSprings vnyd adds some interesting components but a pretty big/ripe Syrah that lacks structure; pricey at $57.00

And the usual stuff from TheBloodyPulpit:

1. Anaba: This is a fairly new wnry up in Sonoma owned by JohnSweazey. Winemaker is JenniferMarion. I had tried the white Rhone blend and liked it quite a bit, so thought I'd order their entire tableau and see what they were doing. They do an unusual technique for their Ports. Instead of fortifying w/ commercial grape spirits, they send a barrel of the previous vintage (Syrah or Viognier) off to be distilled and use that distillate to fortify their wine to make the Port. Does it make a difference?? Beats me....without trying the distillate by itself. But it is a unique approach. I'd really like to try the distillate on its own to see what it's like. No idea where the distillation is done.

I found the wines pretty and very likable; though not totally compelling. The two Coriols were easily my favorites of the table wines. The Ports were very good as well. But the LateHrvst Viognier was easily the most impressive of the bunch, one of the best Calif dessert wines I've had of late. Stunning wine. I found the wines interesting enough and well made that I'll go back and try them again. Definitely a wnry I plan to follow.


[Additional Wine Reviews from Tom Hill]


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