Wine of the Week: Ankida Ridge Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir - Virginia @AnkidaRidge

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Yes Virginia, there is a Virginia Pinot Noir.
Ankida is an ancient Sumerian word meaning "where heaven and earth join"

This bottle of wine was provided as part of a wine tasting series to showcase some of the less well known wine growing regions of the USA. I don't typically think Pinot Noir when I think Virginia wine. Now I will think Ankida Ridge. Their 2012 Pinot Noir truly impressed and is worthy of a Wine of the Week. You can purchase this wine direct from the winery.

Ankida Ridge is a true family run winery. Mom grows the grapes, Son makes the wine and Dad pays the bills as a veterinarian.

Sitting at an elevation of 1800 ft, Ankida Ridge Vineyards grows Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Amherst County, Virginia. Planted in 2008, their vineyard lies on a steep, rocky slope in the Blue Ridge Mountains. There is no level ground on this vineyard. The well drained soils and a cooler mountain climate provides Ankida Ridge the opportunity to successfully grow Pinot Noir. In Virginia! They are one of Virginia's first commercial Pinot Noir producers. A lot of work and care went into nurturing their Pinot Noir vines. You can tell by the quality of this wine.

At Ankida Ridge Vineyard diurnal temperature range is minimal, which allows for slow ripening. They do not need cold nights for acid retention, because the days are cooler at this elevation. They escape spring frost damage due to good relative altitude. Cold air in the spring rolls down into the valleys and pushes warm air back up, but summer days are cooler.  It's a perfect micro-climate. Their vines love it. Compared to other growing regions of Virginia, they are typically 5-10 degrees cooler during the day. If you have ever visited Virginia in the summer, you will understand how this is important.

This was an impressive Pinot Noir on its own. In a blind tasting I would be challenged to distinguish it as "Virginia" and would likely guess New Zealand. A world-class wine you should experience.

Tasting Notes Ankida Ridge Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir :

Color: Clear ruby, orange highlights.
Nose: Earthy strawberry, bright, happy notes. After 55 minuntes dry herbal note and spicy.
Palate: Beautiful fluid quality, shiny. Strawberry galore! Deep finish of ripe red fruit. Glorious fine tannin on the gums and tongue.
  • At 50 minutes tasty orange added to the finish. 
  • Delivering at 55 minutes - lovely, deep, long finish. Acid on tip of tongue at this point.
  • Strawberry/Orange marmalade thang going on at 1 hour 10 minutes. Did I mention a lovely wine?
Day two:
  • Classic Pinot Noir nose, instantly reminded me of New Zealand. Think dry strawberry with a dusting of orange zest, pleasant grip on the lower lip and bright note top of palate. Fresh. Surprising long strawberry finish.
Day three:
  • Strawberry with orange marmalade, earthy notes, dry and juicy. Pure delight.
Thoughts: Big shocker that a Virginia winery can produce a Pinot Noir of this caliber. Well done Ankida Ridge. Impressed and surprised. Strongly Recommended.

Christine Vrooman, Vineyard Manager
Nathan Vrooman, Winemaker
Closure: Natural Cork
ABV: 12.9%
Production: 220 Cases
SRP: $42
Sample provided by Ankida Ridge Vineyards

Ankida Ridge Vineyards
1304 Franklin Creek Rd.
Amherst, VA 24521
434-922-7678
www.ankidaridge.com

Growing wine regions need your help. I encourage you to visit local wineries and to buy from small producers. All 50 states produce wine. When you are traveling, seek out the local producers and give them a chance! You could be surprised and impressed by the quality you discover.

Related Post: Dreaming of Virginia Wine.

Cheers!

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