03 August 2009

Anura 2007 Pinotage

Anura is not a winery I’m familiar with.

They bottled their first wine in 2001 and in 2008 won Pinotage Top 10 with this, their 2007 vintage. I opened my first bottle of Anura last night and heartily concur with the Top 10 judges. This is a very good wine.

Packaging is not quite there. The bottle is a classy heavy one and the front label is good, but the rear label has a blurb printed in tiny dull gold against black that is difficult to read and is confusing. Resorting to the Anura’s informative website all becomes clear. Anura means frog, which explains the image on the front, and is taken from the name of a hill on their farm. We used to find frogs in our garden when we had a small pond but that is now filled in and planted with courgettes and beans that get eaten by unseen predators the moment they emerge from their flowers. However a benefit is that we no longer find mutilated frogs after mowing our lawn.

I was expecting a DIAM technical cork at the end of my waiters’ friend but found a smoothed natural cork which was stained with wine along its length and top. So I was concerned for a while about the seal.

The first sip was rewarding with an intriguing spiciness which became less apparent as time progressed. The wine was smooth as an ivory boat with silk sails on a mill pond and twice as enjoyable. This was not one of your exuberant braai Pinotages with big flavours that leap out the glass but a quietly elegant one you could take to a Michelin starred restaurant knowing it wouldn’t embarrass. That’s not to say there wasn’t any fruit: layers of flavour yielded plums and raspberry restrained by tannins that were there if you were paying attention, but again they didn’t shout about it. This is one of those wines where you pour another glass while saying “I can’t believe how good this is – oh, we’ve finished it.”

Although some of Anura wines are available from Anura's fullfilment partner in Europe, the 2007 Pinotage isn't one of them, and I can't find any stockists in Europe or the USA, but Grapeland in England list the 2005 vintage Pinotage.

Anura Pinotage 2007
WO Paarl
14.5% abv (actually 14.63%)
60 ZAR

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