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Great Wine: Anaba Late Harvest Viognier


Sipper /sip uhr/: A drink in the glass which ought to be consumed in quantities of small sips at a time, as well as at a leisurely pace, to maximize pleasure and to go against the rapid pace of modern living, as if to slow down time for a while.

Okay, so the word doesn’t actually exist in the Oxford Dictionary, but in our book the above is the definitive definition of the word “sipper.” The 2011 ANABA Late Harvest Viognier is a great introduction to the rarified world of wine sippers. Sweet, rich and viscous as apricot syrup with touches of canned peach, orange marmalade, brown molasses and bamboo wood in the pronounced aromatic mix and decadent flavor profile, the wine finishes with a delightful dose of bright and bold acidity. It’s this acidity that distinguishes this Sonoma dessert wine from the model of this kind of dessert wine, that of French Bordeaux’s Sauternes. The boldness and brightness of Anaba’s Viognier-based wine (the Semillon grape is the base for Sauternes) brings a tad of raciness to the otherwise relaxed experience.

While technically this is called a dessert wine, our advice would be to skip the cake, pie or ice cream and pair this with an artisanal cheese plate after dinner. It’s easy to see the acids, flavors and textures of the Anaba commingling with Gruyere, Roquefort, Cheddar, Gouda, Manchego or Asiago. Not accustomed to the idea of cheese and sweet wine after a fine meal? Try it, it will change your life. Talk about slowing life down. Nothing says the slow life like coagulated curds of dairy with a sweet sipper in hand.  –J.M.


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April 10, 2016


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