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Anthill Farms, “Abbey-Harris Vineyard” Pinot NoirAnderson Valley, Mendocino County, California 2019 (750mL)

From the Wine Shop

Anthill Farms, “Abbey-Harris Vineyard” Pinot Noir Anderson Valley, Mendocino County, California 2019 (750mL)


Back in 2003, when David Low, Anthony Filiberti, and Webster Marquez all worked at world-famous Williams Selyem, none of them knew they would quickly establish a friendship and set out to form their very own winery the very next year. Their inaugural vintage yielded just over eight barrels, of which was quickly inhaled by locals. Since then, production has slowly crept upward—while still living comfortably in the “small-batch” territory—but demand has skyrocketed. My first taste came many vintages ago and I was simply enthralled by its savory tension, breathtaking finesse, and site “identity,” which has kept them firmly on my sensitive Pinot Noir radar ever since. Their wines are all about expressing the uniqueness of each small, single-vineyard site and allowing it to shine in the winery with minimal intervention. They are, without any shred of doubt, among the elite contemporary producers of California Pinot Noir. 

In Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley, the Abbey-Harris vineyard is a blip on the radar. This is a minuscule two-acre site perched 1,100 feet above sea level, and it shows two faces in the soil department: One part of the vineyard is rooted in pale sand and pink quartz while the other half is rich in shale and organic matter. In the winery, 50% of the grape clusters were kept intact and a cold-soak followed prior to an ambient-yeast fermentation with once-daily punch downs. After the skins dried out a bit, the juice was pressed off the remaining skins into French barrels, 30% new. The wine then matured for approximately 12 months with occasional lees stirring and barrel topping before bottling without fining or filtration. 

This 2019 is vastly different than the other Anthill Farms on offer today. Aside from “Abbey-Harris” having a much-smaller production (just 180 cases!), this is a Pinot Noir that will handsomely reward those with patience. Right now it’s taut and energetic, spilling out tightly coiled wild plum, grape stem, crushed rock, rose petal, strawberry, kola nut, Bing cherry, and spice. It demands no less than an hour in a decanter before service in your largest Burgundy stems—only then do deeper, richer textures emerge. Still, I strongly advise laying this down until it celebrates its third birthday, while saving any others you snag for consumption around 2025 and beyond.

  • CountryUnited States
  • RegionCalifornia / Mendocino County
  • Sub-RegionAnderson Valley
  • SoilSand, Quartz, & Shale
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendPinot Noir
  • Alcohol13.5%
  • OakFrench Barrels, 30% New
  • Temp.Serve at 60° F
  • GlasswareBurgundy Stem
  • Drinking2022-2029
  • Decanting1-2 Hours

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