Pre-release scouting report: Anthill Farms

Just a quick post today with some tasting notes that may be useful for anyone looking to buy wines from the Anthill Farms 2012 Fall release slated to go live today.  I don’t have time to do a full background on Anthill Farms this time, but in a nutshell, they are an up-and-coming producer making mostly pinot noirs and syrahs sourced from the Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley/Mendocino county regions.  In general, I find AF wines to be balanced but approachable, with generous fruit but delicacy as well.  The pinot noirs offer quality comparable to favorites of mine like Copain, Rhys and Rivers-Marie and the single vineyard bottlings are priced attractively, sometimes at around the same price as appellation blend bottlings from their competitors.  I had the chance to taste some Anthill Farms pinots at the In Pursuit of Balance tasting in New York a few months ago, and a few of those wines are in today’s release.  I’ve also included some other historical tasting notes from my own past purchases of AF wines. To join the mailing list, visit www.anthillfarms.com

 

  • 2010 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Tina Marie Vineyard – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (4/18/2012)
    A bit of a citrus blossom topnote on the nose, from the stems – reminds me a bit of some Rhys wines on the nose, and Anthony F. says he could see a similarity to Rhys’ old Alesia Falstaff bottling. Structured and full on the palate. Balanced with a really nice juiciness. Smooth, pretty, good acidity. 91-92 (92 points)
  • 2009 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Comptche Ridge Vineyard – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County (4/18/2012)
    From Mendocino, a little north of Anderson Valley. More perfumed on the nose than the 2010 Demuth, with some dirt/mud in there as well. Served a bit cold, this has spice and pepper on the palate. Quite good – will look into picking up this bottling in the future. 91-92 (91 points)
  • 2010 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Demuth Vineyard – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (4/18/2012)
    A little spicy, otherwise very Anderson Valley in its restraint, floral as well. Very pretty, slightly high-toned. Anthony Filiberti suggests that this may be a shade more elegant than the ’09 in style. Fruit forward, a hint of stewed character to the red cherry fruits on the palate. Consistent overall with last year’s Demuth which I really dug. (91 points)
  • 2009 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Abbey-Harris Vineyard – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (2/19/2012)
    Too early to drink this, but I wanted another check in ahead of the new Anthill release. Pretty aromatics, very Anderson Valley. Not as approachable as the Demuth that showed so well recently, but this may be the more serious wine, with tannic material that needs time to resolve. 90ish today, up to 92+ in the future. (92 points)
  • 2009 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Demuth Vineyard – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (11/20/2011)
    Really enjoyable – has the elements I want in a CA pinot – light, silky texture, appealing fruit, fresh acidity. The fruit is quite sweet and has a bit of sap to it. My only quibble is that on the finish, the sweetness to the fruit reminds me slightly of saccharine. With extended air, floral notes and a touch of anise come out on the nose. Some might find this a bit thin, but I find it properly delicate for a pinot. 92, seriously pushing 93 at times – an irresistable wine, and surprisingly approachable now. (92 points)
  • 2008 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Anderson Valley – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley (11/22/2010)
    Had a small pour; tried hard but couldn’t detect smoke on the nose of this small sample anyway. The palate was what I expected, a bit tart with cranberry and rhubarb flavors and cool climate in style. Decent, and not marred by smoke on the palate, at least for the one gulp I had. Fine but lacks excitement. 87-88+. Overall, the profile tends toward what I like so I look forward to trying single-vineyard bottlings and other vintages of this. (88 points)

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