Anyone tried Ambyth Estate wines ?

Subject is pretty explanatory

We visited. I’m with Thumper.


Thumper said:
If you cant’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

They’ve been recommended to me by several people who are really into “natural” wines. I’ve not had any though.

Phillip Hart is an articulate and passionate believer in dry farming, biodynamics, and natural winemaking. He didn’t start out that way, but came to those beliefs from talking to other growers and winemakers before planting his vineyard and experimenting after he started making wine. I’ve had some of of the wines, although it’s been a few years. They can vary a bit and some aren’t by the textbook and clean as a whistle (as with most natural wines). I suspect they also go through phases and probably need to be stored carefully.


I tried the Bailey Zinfandel that was recommended to me and it was WAY too natural for my palate. In fact, I’d dare say it was really off. Some stewed fruit, short finish, not at all was I was hoping for. YMMV.

This is a few years old, but here’s a report by Eric Anderson on a visit a few of us made to AmByth: Visit with Phillip Hart of AmByth, December 2010

Phil is a great guy and I admire the challenge he has trying to dry farm in Paso! He uses a little sulfur in some bottling, and none in most, so storage can be key. And they do tend to evolve in the bottle, which really shouldn’t be seen as a negative, should it?
I find the Ambyth wines to be very subtle and if you were to place the “natural” moniker on them, they would be on the restrained part of the scale.