2014 Anthill Farms, Syrah, Sonoma Coast.
The Anthill Farms team Webster Marquez, Anthony Filiberti and David Low make some California’s most authentic Pinot Noir, focusing on terroir and vintage to showcase each wine, they met while working at Williams Selyem, and have grown from 200 cases in 2009 to just under 2,000 cases in recent years, with most all their wines being sold out to their mailing list. They also make one of California’s best deals in varietal Syrah and the 2014 version from Sonoma Coast cool climate sites is a beauty, while known mostly for their Pinot Noir and super rare Chardonnay, Anthill Farms Syrah is always one of my favorite wines by this talented trio. Anthony Filiberti, who now is head winemaker at Hirsch Vineyards, and former front man at Knez, another Pinot focused winery that was exclusively Anderson Valley, has found some amazing fruit sources for this Syrah and most sites they work with for grapes practice organic and or biodynamic farming, also there is an old school/traditional mindset, to craft minimalistic and pure wines. This is especially true in the Syrah, used wood, native yeasts and some whole cluster allow the Syrah to show it’s northern Rhone heritage with dark berry fruit, brambly and peppery spices as well as earthy notes, game, anise and crushed violets all playing a part in this well judged and executed wine. Lean and Cornas like the Anthill Farms Sonoma Coast leads with the floral, pepper and graphite elements, but quickly fills in on the palate with boysenberry, black cherry, blueberry and subtle cassis, herbs, gravel and tapenade. While fruit driven and medium full, it stays fresh, vibrant and lifting with enough acidity, silken tannin and savoriness to be complex and balanced throughout, I love this vintage. I suggest searching this wine out, it usually is one of the easiest to find of the lineup and the best priced, while I would also look for any of the Pinots, in particular the Peters Vineyard and the Anderson Valley cuvee, drink the Syrah over the next 5 to 10 years and without much guilt often, even now!
($26 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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