SOLD OUT! This is a special and limited offer on the wines of Anthill Farms and Belle Pente. With their 2018’s, Anthill Farms has established itself as one of the Sonoma Coast’s premiere producers. And Belle Pente has long been regarded as one of the Willamette Valley’s top producers.
I’ve got small quantities of each of the 3 wines listed below arriving today (9/22/20). And I’m offering these super low-production wines up at some of the best prices in the country. With cooler fall weather upon us in WNC, these smooth, sensual, and savory Pinot Noirs are what you should be drinking!
We’ll begin the discussion with Anthill Farms. The three founders of Anthill Farms met while working together at Williams Selyem in the early 2000’s. “It came about because we’re all winemakers and people would see us scrambling around trying to grab the same hose at once; they said it was like watching a bunch of ants,” said Webster Marquez.
This trio of ants – Marquez, Anthony Filiberti, and David Low share the same approach – using Pinot Noir – the most ‘transparent’ grape in the world to communicate the way vineyards from cooler areas create distinctive wines. Named Food & Wine Magazine’s “Most Promising New Winery” in 2009, the trio have made a wonderful Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir in the wonderful 2018 vintage.
1. 2018 Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast | On Sale Through October 3rd
93 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, 92 points Vinous Media
This is Anthill Farm’s “entry-level” wine, but there is nothing entry-level about it. A blend of grapes from top sites scattered throughout the Sonoma Coast, this is a ton of wine for the money. The Wine Advocate raved about this one. “Medium ruby-purple, it has pure scents of cranberries, blackberries, black tea leaves, fragrant earth and garrigue. In the mouth, it’s concentrated but light on its feet with a silky texture, floral fruits, seamless freshness and a long finish. Drink now through 2026.”
Antonio Galloni loved it too. “The 2018 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) is a pretty big, dark wine relative to prior editions. Dark cherry, plum, lavender, sage, spice and menthol shape this brooding appellation-level Pinot from Anthill Farms. Readers will find an especially potent, virile Pinot with tons of character. Drink 2020 – 2030.”
Moving north into Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Belle Pente epitomizes Oregon Pinot Noir. For nearly 30 years, husband and wife Brian and Jill O’Donnell have quietly been making some of the Willamette Valley’s top wines. And despite the fact that their wines are always some of the highest rated, their prices remain modest. And I’m not the only one who thinks this — Vinous Media, one of the world’s leading wine publications, consistently rates Belle Pente’s wines with the highest points-to-price ratio of all Oregon wines they review. There are two wines available here.
The 2016 Belle Pente ‘Murto Vineyard’ Pinot Noir was one of Vinous Media’s top-rated Oregon Pinot Noirs of the excellent 2016 vintage. This site sits at the top of the Dundee Hills and it was planted back in 1978. Belle Pente is one of just a few producers that Mike and Robin Murto sell fruit to, and in 2016, the O’Donnells made 446 cases.
2. 2016 Belle Pente ‘Murto Vineyard’ Pinot Noir | On Sale Through October 3rd
95 points Vinous Media — only four Oregon Pinots scored higher and all were $75+!
Vinous Media raved about this one. “Shimmering magenta. A highly complex bouquet evokes ripe raspberry and boysenberry, exotic spices, incense and smoky minerals, and a sexy floral note gains strength as the wine opens up. Conveys a compelling blend of richness and finesse, showing seamless texture and intense red and blue fruit, floral pastille and spicecake qualities on the palate. Finishes extremely long and smooth, with discreet tannins framing lingering floral and berry notes. Drink 2022 – 2032.”
Also one heckuva’ wine is the 2018 Belle Pente Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. A candidate for top Oregon Pinot Noir value every vintage, this one includes grapes from BP’s estate vineyards in Yamhill-Carlton as well as some younger vines from Murto Vineyard.
3. 2018 Belle Pente Pinot Noir Willamette Valley
92-93 points JS (that’s me)
Just as 2018 was fantastic in Northern California, it was equally strong in Oregon. And this is no “generic” Pinot Noir by any stretch of the imagination. It is a great introduction to the Belle Pente style — full, silky, sensual, and satisfying. An ideal wine to enjoy with salmon, roast chicken, or turkey (yes, Thanksgiving is only 2 months away). Delicious!
I suspect these will disappear rather quickly, as Pinot Noir tastes great all year, but it’s earthy sensuality makes it go down a bit easier as we move into the cooler autumn months.
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Table Wine Asheville