Introduction to Anthill Farms
In March I visited Anthill farms during one of my day trips to Sonoma. Before this visits I had only tried two of their wines, both Pinot Noirs. The reason Anthill Farms ended up on my list of producers to visit is that they seem to have a very dedicated group of followers. Several persons have recommended their wines passionately and one person even gave me a bottle to taste.
This is a young producer, founded in 2004, which is part of the New California movement making wines that are less ripe and with a transparency towards vineyards and vintages. They use very little new oak, harvest relatively early and intervene as little as possible in the cellar.
Tasting notes for the wines from Anthill Farms
2015 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
40 percent whole clusters, no new oak and they have gone through a cold soak.
Fresh and juicy Pinot Noir with an abundance of bright red fruit where raspberries dominate. The acidity adds a coolness to a palate that is slim and precise. Some herbal notes appear both on nose and palate.
2015 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Harmony Lane Vineyard
This wine has two different styles; a rather fruit forward nose with quite ripe strawberries and raspberries, and a palate with a citric acidity that is slightly harsh at the moment. This results in a wine that is both generous and energetic, but at the moment it is not in perfect balance. There are also some bayleaf notes on both nose and palate.
2015 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Campbell Ranch Vineyard
Young red fruit, mainly from raspberries, combined with some eucalyptus notes results in a fresh expression. On the palate the wine gets some attitude with a tannic bite and some energetic acidity. I recognize this style from my tasting at Kutch wines. I think this wine will develop very good and if you are not sensitive to tannins and a sharp acidity it is a good food wine already today.
2015 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Peters Vineyard
Dense and layered fruit notes with blackberries, blueberries and an abundance of strawberries opens up this wine. On the palate a nice and precise acidity balances the fruit notes and we get a sandy tannic structure. The finish is mouthwatering and this wine is very approachable already now but should also have a long life ahead. Great wine.
2015 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Tina Marie Vineyard
Green valley. Fertile soil and high humidity.
Expressive nose with intense berry notes, mainly from dark berries, but some red also appear after a while. The acidity has some lemon notes and gets slightly harsh and they dominate the wine in the finish. This wine is not in perfect balance yet, but hopefully this will improve with some time.
2015 Anthill Farms Chardonnay Peugh Vineyard
This is an intense Chardonnay with an abundance of green apples, some stone fruit and fresh lime fruit. On the palate the lime fruit takes a more dominant position, especially in the fresh finish.
Summary of impressions from Anthill Farms
I am very impressed with the high and even quality level at Anhill farms. These are wines that are made to last and they will develop with time, still they are approachable and pleasant to drink already today.
The Pinot Noirs have pure and intense fruit notes that shows a rather dense profile on the nose, but then on the palate the acidity gives a more slim expression that stays is a fresh finish. The wines are more dense than I expected considering that this is a producer going for early harvest and lower alcohol levels. None of the wines have showed any signs of being under ripe. I look forward to tasting some of their wines with some more age.
I only tried one Chardonnay and it was fresh and energetic and reminded me of Chardonnay from Chablis.
My favorite wines in the tasting were the Pinot Noirs from Peters Vineyard and Campbell Ranch Vineyard