Sunday, February 03, 2019

Ankida Ridge Chardonnay 2015 and Pinot Noir 2015 Continue to Impress (VA)

Lets start off by saying I am a huge fan of Ankida Ridge Vineyards. I first tasted their wines in 2012, and I have been in love ever since. One of the things I love about their wines is their style of winemaking: it is restrained, with little intervention, using both native and inoculated yeasts, and using a combination of new and neutral French oak barrels. Fruit forward, simple, elegant wines. Love it.

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ankida Ridge is a family-run Burgundy style little oasis of Virginia wine. And its flavors are delicate and distinct. They are proponents of sustainability and biodiversity, and work their densely planted vines on the steep, granite mountainside at 1800 feet. 

They became known for their Chardonnay and Pinot noir. They have Pinot Noir –planted in 2008 & 2017, 4.25 ac (mostly Dijon clones); Chardonnay – planted in 2008 & 2017, 1.5 ac,; Gamay- planted 2017- .25 acre; and at their neighboring leased Mountain Terrace site- 2.5 ac Chardonnay. But recently they have introduced other wines, blends, and even a sparkler. Very exciting. 

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The Vrooman family, for their consultants, hired the renowned viticulturist, Lucie Morton to guide them in the vineyard. And for the wine-making end, the award-winning winemaker, Matthieu Finot, has overseen their production of wines, with Nathan Vrooman, serving as the winemaker under Matthieu’s guidance. And impressive roster.

Ankida Ridge Chardonnay 2015 was produced from a blend of Ankida estate fruit with that of their Amherst County neighbor, Mountain Terrace Vineyard. The wine was aged sur lie for 9 months, in mostly in neutral oak with some new oak. 70% of barrels underwent malolactic fermentation. 225 cases were produced. Fresh apple and fresh pear came racing out of the glass. Those flavors were confirmed on the first sip, with lovely hints of tropical fruits and some very fabulous spices. The middle was creamy, and the finish had just enough acid to let the fruit shine through.Absolutely fantastic!!!!

Ankida Ridge Pinot Noir 2015 was the sixth vintage from Ankida Ridge. The wine was aged in 30% new French oak, and the rest in neutral barrels. They produced 350 cases. Big ripe cherry, cassis, bright red raspberry, and cranberry all come through in this very sensuous wine. The flavors are layered, and constantly evolving in the mouth. The red fruits come through again and a gain, but there are spices, and an earthiness that come through as well. The finish is exquisite, as ripe cherry seems to linger for ever. A truly impressive wine worth of any serious Pinot Noir producing region, anywhere. Absolutely astonishing!

Ankida Ridge continues to impress. What are you waiting for?