2013 Anthill Farms "Comptche Ridge" Mendocino County Pinot Noir

SKU #1230325 93 points Vinous

 Just bottled, the 2013 Pinot Noir Comptche Ridge Vineyard is pretty exuberant, yet there is plenty of underlying structure. Dark red and black cherries, hard candy, wild flowers and spices lift from the glass in a Pinot that stands out for its striking inner perfume and aromatics. Floral notes from the 50% whole clusters give the wine tons of upper-register nuance, while sweet, silky tannins support the expressive finish. This is another wine with a bright future. Anthill Farms is on a roll. Anthony Filiberti seems to have the magic touch when it comes to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah, as these new releases are brilliant. Even though they had been bottle not to long before my visit, the 2013s shows very well. Filiberti describes 2013 as an intense growing season with a harvest tha last three weeks instead of the more typical 2 months or so. As always, the Anthill wines are made in a lifted, aromatic style, with considerable stem influence and an expression of fruit that seeks ripeness at lower sugar levels. Aging in mostly neutral oak seems to allow the unique personalities of each of these sites to be expressive. Pinots make up the largest part of the range, but I personally am a huge fan of Syrah. These remain some of the most distinctive wines being made in California today. Best of all, prices remain incredibly sane. The only problem is finding the wines, as production is extremely limited. (AG)  (1/2015)

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Price: $55.99
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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Sp├Ątburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gew├╝rztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.