Of all the seasons, Spring has always been my favorite. This was especially true growing up in West Virginia, and spending my law school years in what sometimes seemed like the near perpetual winter in Northwest Ohio. With Spring always comes the promise of renewal. After the dull gray of winter — with its months of snow in West Virginia and Ohio, and its months of damp in Texas, Spring always gave me the hope that even in the darkest days, beauty and life would return to the earth.
With Spring comes flowers — lots and lots of flowers. I have many photographs I’ve taken of flowers. All sorts of flowers: roses, daffodils, iris. Red and yellow tulips, blue hyacinth, and the wildflowers of Texas. Yes, of course, I have the obligatory pictures of Texas bluebonnets. But I also have pictures of Indian blanket, Black-eyed Susan, and Indian paintbrush.
Pink and White dogwood trees.
But dogwoods remind me more of my childhood home. When I was younger, I couldn’t wait for the dogwood trees to bloom. Much of it was probably because I’d learned the “Legend of the Dogwood” for Easter in Sunday School, but also because it meant winter was soon over!
I can be at nearly any locale; wine walks, bike races, conventions and you’ll find me taking pictures of flowers — usually to the slight irritation of those around me who are more interested in the event than the surroundings.
The best thing about Spring, especially for anyone living along the Gulf Coast as I do, is the signal that it’s the perfect time to start drinking white wines. So, for a recent Open that Bottle Night, we decided we needed to try a white Rhône-style blend from Anaba, their 2007 Coriol White.
We recently reviewed a Châteauneuf-du-Pape type blend from Anaba (pronounced Anń-ah-bah), the winery named after the winds of the Sonoma Valley. Since the 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition has seen fit to award it a Gold Medal, we decided the Coriol White Rhône Blend would pair nicely with some local seafood. Joe prepared a fabulous meal of Almond Crusted Salmon with Blood-Orange Vinaigrette; fresh Gulf Coast Mussels with a shallot Muscadet reduction, and a spinach-chevre salad. The blood-orange vinaigrette brought out a zesty orange-peel citrus in the wine, that combined well with its notes of floral and citrus. (I’ve asked Joe to give me the recipes so I can pass them along to you — stay tuned!)
Anaba’s Coriol White is made with 69% Viognier, 15% Roussanne, 10% Marsanne, and 6% Grenache Blanc grown in Sonoma Valley Anaba sources these grapes from three vineyards: McWilliams, Landa and Kelly Glenn. The Landa Vineyard is located in the “shadows of the eastern hills of the Sonoma Valley.” Alcohol is 14.1% by volume.
Here’s what Jennifer Marion, Anaba’s winemaker says about this wine:
From Sonoma Valley’s McWilliams and Kelly Glen vineyards comes Roussanne, Marsanne, and Grenache Blanc. Grenache Blanc lends a longer length and higher alcohol to the blend, along with rich notes of citrus and herbs. Roussanne is a plump varietal that has floral and tea-like aromas. In warmer climates, such as Sonoma, Roussanne produces richer wines with a fuller body and flavors of honey and pear. Marsanne provides complexity by producing deeply colored wines with notes of pear and spice.
WINE MAKING NOTES
This fruit was hand harvested early in the morning to ensure the coldest juice possible and came into the winery in exceptional condition. We then hand sorted, whole cluster pressed and fermented one third in stainless steel under very cool conditions. Two thirds of the fruit was barrel fermented. The lees were stirred frequently for ten weeks post fermentation, a process called batonnage, which increases the appealing textures of the wine. Coriol white was barrel fermented and then went through malolactic fermentation. This wine was aged for 11 months in 100% French oak barrels, 20% of which were new. Our preferred barrel coopers include Francois Ferrer, Sirugue, Dargaud Jaegle.
Usually we advise serving whites at around 46 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) but this full-bodied white needs a little less chill. We suggest serving this at 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). I just let my glass sit on the table about 10 minutes after we pulled it from the wine chiller. Holding the wine in your mouth for a good 30-45 seconds will also allow you to really appreciate the layers of its complexity.
If you live outside of California, you probably cannot get Anaba from your local merchant. But you can order it from Anaba’s website (unless you live in some evil state like Michigan that forbids it!) The good folks at Anaba were nice enough to give our readers a special discount. We’re not receiving a cut, so we said, “Okay.”
Use this special code on their order form AWB0309 (click the Enter Discount Code for a little pop-up box once on the order form site) for 15% off any purchase of 6 bottles or more! We hope you enjoy their wines as much as we do. Let us know what your think.
Amy Corron Power,