Anthill Farms was launched in 2004 by partners Webster Marquez, David Low and Anthony Filiberti who all previously worked at Williams Selyem. The trio are deeply committed to producing handcrafted, high quality, cool climate single vineyard Pinot Noir, Syrah and Chardonnay sourced from vineyards in Northern California.
Anthony is the lead winemaker and was raised in Sonoma County. He apprenticed at Oregon’s Bergström which farms without the use of herbicides, pesticides, insecticides or systemic chemicals. They go a step further by composting and treating with homeopathic herbal and mineral teas, rather than using synthetic fertilizers. Understandably, Anthony is a non-interventionist winemaker, committed to gentle handling of grapes from crushing to bottling which is clearly evident - the attention to detail produces wines of magical, unforced purity.
Their operation has grown from a mere 8.5 barrels per year to almost 1,800 cases. This still equates to a tiny operation particularly when the trio produce a string of single vineyard creations, effortlessly expressing the diverse terroirs of the Sonoma Coast and Mendocino County. Most wines are produced in minuscule quantities and are offered via their mailing list members in spring. Outside of their mailing list, a small amount of wine is released every year to local restaurants, wine shops and a tiny amount is exported (thank the Lord!)
We introduced the sensational 2014 Campbell Ranch Pinot Noir many years back, which remains one of my absolute favourites from the US, and a wine which I miss dearly (my powers of restraint failed). It’s been two weeks since our ‘new’ Anthill Farms arrived into our HQ warehouse. The whole team swooned around the pallet with an entire case of the ’18 Campbell Ranch emptying for staff purchases. The remainder of the pallet contains wines new to us all, which I am delighted to share today…
Anthill Farms Campbell Ranch Pinot Noir 2018
"it is comparable to hugging an old friend you haven’t seen for years"
98+ Points - Stuart McCloskey “Perhaps not the most complex in their collection however, the deep-set flavours satisfy me beyond description. Odd for some to understand, but I have a nostalgic / emotional connection and there is not much more I can add save for, it is comparable to hugging an old friend you haven’t seen for years. The bouquet is breathtaking and evocative with wild strawberry, black raspberry, sweet spice, cedar, pencil wood and orange peel. Scents of autumnal woodland emerge with more aeration. It’s so homely and incredibly inviting – I'm swooning! The palate is perfectly balanced. The fruit is judiciously ripe and balanced with a zip of blood orange acidity and super-fine tannins. The harmony, grace and presence are as attractive as the fruit itself – ethereal and exquisitely defined. Poured with Zalto Burgundy glassware and straight from the bottle. Decant if you wish (one hour will suffice). Exceptional now but has the potential to age for 8-10 years. Unquestionably, my favourite and most sustaining Pinot Noir in 2020…”
"What a brilliant Campbell Ranch!
98 Points - Magdalena Sienkiewicz "Sampled after decanting. Beautiful perfume oozes from the glass, alluring and almost exotic. Strawberries, wild forest fruit with a dusting of spice and a great citrus lift. Although young, the palate shows incredible texture with summer fruits infused with sweet spice and filigree tannins. What a beautifully crafted Pinot Noir – sensuous, lively and so effortless. The expectations here were high given my fond memories of the 2012, 2013 and the superb 2014 vintage. What a brilliant Campbell Ranch! I’m impressed."
Anthill Farms Campbell Ranch Syrah 2018
"One of the stars in this range...
94-97 Points - Antonio Galloni "One of the stars in this range, the 2018 Syrah Campbell Ranch is exceptionally beautiful. Inky, unctuous, spice, lavender and menthol infuse the 2018 with tons of flavor complexity, but it is the wine's textural richness that stands out most. The 2018 is simply dazzling. That's all there is to it."
Winemaker "This is our other 2 acre Syrah site that we lease and farm near the Sonoma Coast in Annapolis. 100% Syrah here, and a sweet counterpoint to the Peters. Wafting spice infused black fruit and floral aromas are exceptionally gorgeous this year. There is a power and texture that makes each sip increasingly pleasing. The wine brims with brooding cool climate Syrah tastes and textures that makes putting off picking until mid October worthwhile for us. Drink over the next 15 years. 13.1% ABV."
Anthill Farms Baker Ranch Pinot Noir 2018
"Another stellar wine in this range from Anthill Farms"
94-96 Points - Antonio Galloni "The 2018 Pinot Noir Baker Ranch is another stellar wine in this range from Anthill Farms. Exotic spice, star anise, blood orange, mint, incense, and succulent red cherry notes all run through the 2018. Deep, dense and creamy, with tremendous fruit richness, the Baker Ranch is vivid and wonderfully complete."
Winemaker "A watershed year for Baker as the surrounding factors and attention to detail in the vineyard have made our favorite version to date. Red cherry and plum, baking spice, dried carnation, orange peel and nuances of fresh mushroom explode from the glass, giving an impression of power—however, the elegance we always enjoy from this site is still what defines it. Flavors are equally vivid and deep, and the mouthfeel is generously textured without veering into heavy. Baker Ranch reveals the terroir and vintage distinction in a way that always indicates its proximity to the Mendocino Coast. Drink over the next decade. 13.5% ABV."
Anthill Farms Harmony Lane Pinot Noir 2018
"One of the most complete, arrestingly beautiful wines I have ever tasted..."
94-96 Points - Antonio Galloni "The 2018 Pinot Noir Harmony Lane is one of the most complete, arrestingly beautiful wines I have ever tasted from Anthill Farms. Dark, rich and unctuous, the 2018 possesses notable depth and yet it remains translucent, nuanced and super-expressive. The 50% whole clusters are not especially evident. Lavender, mint and blue/purplish fruit infuse this exquisitely layered, inviting Pinot."
Anthill Farms Comptche Ridge Pinot Noir 2018
"Beguiling in its aromatics and finely sculpted... marvelously complex."
94-96 Points - Antonio Galloni "Another stellar wine in this range, the 2018 Pinot Noir Comptche Ridge is fabulous. In this vintage, the Comptche Ridge is a bit richer and deeper than it has been, while avoiding some of the austerity this wine can show. Beguiling in its aromatics and finely sculpted, the 2018 is marvelously complex. There is plenty of tannin, and the acids are bright (as they are for all these wines), but the 2018 is deep and so multi-faceted. It will appeal most to readers who enjoy taut, structured reds."
Winemaker "Along with Campbell Ranch and Abbey Harris, Comptche Ridge makes up the 3 sites we lease and have complete control over the farming. In 2018 this wine commands attention for its marvelously complex and expressive character. Incredibly floral at first, then spice and dark fruits take over with the sites petrichor scents and flavors developing after exposing to air. Depth of flavor, length on the palate and longevity to age define this vintage of Comptche, and speak to this sites greatness. Drink over the next 15 years. 13.8% ABV."
Anthill Farms Hawk Hill Pinot Noir 2018
"Understated, vibrant and classy... one of my favorites in this range."
93-95 points - Antonio Galloni "The 2018 Pinot Noir Hawk Hill is one of the more refined wines in this range. Crushed flowers, sweet red berries, mint, chalk and blood orange give this mid-weight Pinot striking aromatic presence. Understated, vibrant and classy, the 2018 is so finessed and so sculpted. It is one of my favorites in this range.