2016 Anthill Farms Winery, Pinot Noir, Peters Vineyard, Sonoma Coast.
The still youthfully tight 2016 Anthills Farms Peters Pinot has plenty to offer in structure, energy and whole bunch earthy crunchiness with layers of transparent red fruits and a touch of smoky toast that all of which reminds me of a powerful Nuits Saint Georges Burgundy, it is a wine that seems very age worthy, especially with its slow reveal of flavors and sense of depth. This Peters Pinot got lots of hang time, for the grapes, which translates to ripeness, but also that the vineyard retains natural acidity that heightens the experience. The main impression on the palate is a core of black cherry along with plum, strawberry, pomegranate as well as an interesting array of spices and delightful tanginess/savoriness. Anthill Farms got its start when Webster Marquez, Anthony Filiberti, and David Low crossed paths while working at Williams-Selyem, they kept in touch and a few years as cellar rats in California, Oregon, and Virginia they started the cult Pinot label Anthill Farms, focusing on mostly single site Pinots from cooler vineyards in California’s western Sonoma Coast as well as Mendocino, back in 2004. Filiberti has grown into one of California’s best winemakers and know also makes the wines at the famous Hirsch Vineyards and his work at Anthill Farms shows his talent with Pinot Noir much like his contemporaries Ross Cobb, Wells Guthrie and Jason Drew, over the last decade his wines have been some of the most prized and sought after in the state.
Anthill Farms have been making a Peters Vineyard Pinot Noir for many years and it is one of my favorites in the lineup, the vines are about 30 years old now and Randy Peters and his father-in-law, Tom Mukaida, farm this vineyard outside of Sebastopol in western Sonoma County. Peters supplies awesome grapes to Anthill Farms, as well as other notable wineries, including some to Papapietro Perry. The southern slopes of these hills form the northern edge of the Petaluma Gap, which rushes cool, marine air from the Pacific Ocean inland creating a dynamic warm-and-cool environment that creates wines of elegant bearing and tight precision. The vines at the Peters Vineyard are, as the winery notes, a mix of Pommard and 777, plus some Wadenswil (Swiss Clone) and 115 clone, set on a former Gravenstein apple orchard with Goldridge sandy loam soils. gravelly soils, producing grapes that ripen unusually slow due to the oft-present morning fog. A minimalist approach in the cellar and gentle handling of exceptional grapes are an Anthill Farms signature employing indigenous yeast and partial whole cluster fermentation(s) with aging in mostly used French oak, all to promote terroir clarity and Pinot purity, which this 2016 delivers in the glass, highlighting the gripping personality of the vintage and this Peters is developing into an absolutely gorgeous and complex wine. I hope to enjoy these Anthill ’16s again in 5 to 10 years, they are really coming into their own, especially this Peters and their Comptche Ridge, usually my most favorite of the collection.
($50 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive