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2013 Anthill Farms "Peugh Vineyard" Russian River Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1230323 93 points Vinous

 The 2013 Chardonnay Peugh Vineyard emerges from a parcel of head-trained 65 year-old vines on Olivet Lane, not exactly something one sees every day. Tropical fruit, almond, butter, brioche and spices meld together in a rich, oily Chardonnay built on texture. Unctuous, powerful and beautifully layered in the glass, the 2013 hits all the right notes. The style is disitinctly oily and resonant. There is no shortage of sheer appeal here. 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: $49.99
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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

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.


- 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.
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 Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.