Shouldn’t your Valentine’s Day weekend be full of fun, bolstered with a few glasses of wines that are approachable and breezy, yet elegant? I discovered two selections that are just that from Anaba Vineyards and Winery in Sonoma County. They’ll be perfect pairings with a romantic dinner, with a group of friends playing board games, or just by yourself watching a favorite movie.
Anaba, located at 60 Bonneau Road in Sonoma, California, is known for their quality wines featuring Rhone and Burgundian grape varieties. Sourced from selected properties in Sonoma County as well as their Estate vineyards in Carneros, the winemaking team works with growers to help them meet their specifications in each region boasting distinct microclimates. Canopy management strategies are used in order to elevate the health of the vines and grape clusters are thinned to refine the fruit’s flavor profile. Sustainable viticultural practices are consistently utilized in the vineyards.
In fact, Anaba was the first winery in Northern California to harness the wind for power when, in 2009, John Sweazey, Proprietor, installed a 45 foot Skystream 3.7 turbine. Generated by this electricity are the tasting room, wine storage area, office operations, and irrigation pumps for the estate vineyards as well as their electric car station, available to visitors sampling a bevy of wines at the tasting room.
“The winds of Sonoma lent us our name. Be it a steady breeze or a firm gust, an anabatic wind is one that flows up the hills of a vineyards during calm and sunny weather,” states Sweazey. As cooling winds glide inland from the Pacific Ocean and San Pablo Bay, they become stronger as they meet the vineyards’ sloping hills, at which point they become anabatic. The vineyard climate becomes more temperate and the fruit’s ripening process is slowed, resulting in wines with a bold, unique and elegant profile.
Just as interesting and impressive as the story (be sure to check out the website) were the two bottles sent to me as samples, 2013 Turbine White and 2012 Pinot Noir.
Anaba 2013 Turbine White, Sonoma Valley
With just as much breeze and fresh air as the image of the turbine on its label evokes, this lovely blend of Rhone varietals, 42% Roussanne, 20% Grenache Blanc, 20% Picpoul Blanc, and 18% Marsanne, is relaxed and joyous! Gentle aromas of stone fruit, herbs, and white flowers wafted from the glass. As a counterpoint to the nose, the flavors of the Turbine White were broad yet refreshing, with notes of almonds and tropical citrus, boasting bright acidity. Its finish was light, crisp, and lingering.
From vineyards in the eastern foothills of the Sonoma Valley Appellation, the Roussanne contributed gentle aromatics, the Marsanne offered acidity, Grenache Blanc presented length and balance, and the Picpoul Blanc lent elements of tropical fruit and that snap that I loved. Fermented with native yeast in in 50% barrels and 50% stainless steel, the 2013 Turbine White was aged for eight months in French oak barrels. Cost is $28.
Anaba 2012 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
It should be no surprise to any of my readers that I love a classic Pinot Noir and the 100% Pinot Noir from Anaba does not disappoint. On the nose, sweet cherries, purple flowers, and touch of oak evoked that “ahhhh…” moment right from the beginning. Notes of earth, vanilla, white pepper, juicy red fruits, and baking spice were lifted by brilliant acidity and well integrated tannins were the foundation. Balanced with a bold, firm finish, this approachable Pinot Noir will make every moment special.
Whereas the Turbine White is from grapes grown in the Valley, the Pinot Noir is from the Sonoma Coast Appellation and aged for eleven months in French oak barrels. Cost is $34.
Whatever you do, have a wonderful Valentine’s Day weekend. Keep it simple, relaxing, and, of course, always elegant.