What happened to all the love for Anthill Farms?

Osso Bucco tonight so I decided to go with a pinot and picked a 2009 Anthill Farms. That got me to thinking about how the winery seems to have fallen off the love cliff into the obscurity zone. There were 20 threads with Anthill in the title in 2011; 25 in 2012; and a steady decline since then to only 4 threads in 2018 and only one so far this year. I haven’t bought the wine for a while, but that’s only because I own too much wine and pinot is not my sweet spot. I have not had problem bottles and I have enjoyed what I have opened. Any thoughts on what happened? Is this just that it’s no longer the faddish new wine that no one else knows about?

I seem to recall meeting the winemaker or the owner at pinot days in New York a few years ago and they seemed like nice people.

Yes, I will post a TN on tonight’s bottle.

I opened one a couple of weeks ago and it was very good. I am about to put a pre-sell order in now. A new PN that I have not tasted Harmony Lane. Occasionally they can show a bit too much VA. But that is kind of what make them interesting to me.

I think it’s part of a bigger shift. It’s not only Anthill but CA pinot in general. KB, Sea Smoke, Rhys, etc. had a lot more threads in the old days.

Darlings of the board can have a mercurial course.

I was on the mailing list for one of the wineries you mentioned. I somehow missed a release and got cold shouldered. Asked to resume and was placed at the “first timer” level. So, screw them.

No names.

So much wine…

I am sure any of the three mentioned would have done that. Alban is notorious for it as well, as are basically all the big hitter Napa cab producers.

Pinot is dead at retail

I don’t buy retail.

Not Rhys.

I don’t pretend to be in the know, but c’mon…this sounds like opinion not fact.

They lost me when they released their 08’s full of smoke taint.

I did not mean to impugn Rhys, likely the nicest wine people going. I actively root for their success.

1 Like

I still buy 2 cases each year, pinot and syrah. Good pricing on excellent syrahs. Still have vintages back to 2009 and they are drinking well.

2008 is what happened.

A bunch of wineries had issues with 2008…it was a new issue for a lot of them who had never dealt with the smoke taint. Might as well blackball every winery that ever sold a corked bottle.

You are correct, but a lot of wineries handled it way different IMO. After I opened a half of a case I reached out to them about it. They said they were aware of it and did everything to prevent the “low” levels of smoke in their pinot’s, except disclose it to their buyers. The “low” level of smoke was overwhelming. If that was low, I couldn’t image what a wine with a high level of smoke taint tastes like. I asked to return the 6 bottles I had left and they said no. Anthill could have handled the situation way better and kept a customer.

I attended a recent event and noticed an overall lack of excitement from both staff and attendees. I overheard an event worker mention to someone the owner/winemaker Anthony was now splitting time between Anthill Farms and Hirsch Vineyards, and another co-owner is now pursuing cheesemaking and not attending the event (one of only 2 they hold each year). None of the wines stood out and I left feeling the owners might be ready to cash out provided there was a buyer. They are no longer a purchase for me.

2016 Anderson Valley is on Wine Access today. Supposedly sold out to mailing list instantly but somehow there is still 40 cases for Wine Access.


You are correct, but Anthill.dealt with it differently than others, as Bryan mentioned. Go back and check out how Navarro handled it, for instance. Most smaller wineries chose not to release but instead to bulk out or dump.

They replaced mine with 2009s.