Antica Terra

Owner(s) Scott Adelson, Maggie Harrison, Michael Kramer, John Mavredakis
Web site www.anticaterra.com
 
Link to this site

Antica Terra ("old earth" in Latin) was started by a pair of New Yorkers in 1989 who made small amounts of Pinot Noir for several years. The vineyard and label was purchased in June of 2005 by three friends and partners along with talented winemaker Maggie Harrison, a long-time former assistant winemaker to Manfred Krankl at Sine Qua Non in Ventura, CA.

The 11-acre estate vineyard is located on a prehistoric seabed in the Eola-Amity Hills appellation. Planting and updating of 5 acres of the vineyard involved moving 3,600 tons of rock, a very labor and cost-intensive project. Some additional potential vineyard land remains.

Annual case production has risen from 1,500 cases to 2,500 cases as young vines come into production. The inaugural release was vinified by Maggie Harrison from the 2006 vintage. Master Sommelier Nate Ready has also become involved in the project as Harrison's junior partner.

The Willamette Valley bottling is a blend of grapes from the Eola-Amity hills property (52%) as well as Amity Hills Vineyard, Shea Vineyard, and Croft Vineyard. A second, more limited, release called Botanica, is only made in superior vintages and is primarily from an 8-acre block of Shea Vineyard. An Antica Terra Estate Pinot Noir was added in 2009. The lineup for the 2009 vintage also includes a Chardonnay and an outstanding Rosé (Erratica). A sparkling wine will be released with the 2011 vintage and Maggie promises other surprises in the future. A new winery in a Dundee warehouse was completed in time for the 2009 harvest.

The wine is sold through a mailing list with the Willamette Valley bottling distributed through retail channels (the most desirable bottlings are expensive but are sold out quickly through the mailing list). Visits to the vineyard and tasting are available by appointment: 503-244-1748.

Reviewed Wines

2012 Antica Terra Botanica Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 630 cases, $75. · Moderate dark reddish purple color in the glass. A noticeable step up from the Ceras bottling. Very aromatic. When the cork was pulled, aromas emerged like caged monkeys. Lovely scents of black cherry, spice, brioche and vanilla. Tasty and expressive, with flavors of black cherry, ollaliberry and plum with complimentary oak seasoning. Exquisite balance and generosity at this young age. Score: 92-93. Reviewed December 11, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Antica Terra Ceras Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 600 cases, $75. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of dark raspberry and espresso lead to oak-kissed flavors of boysenberry and black raspberry. Very silky with soft tannins and a juicy finish. Still young and awkward with a hint of popcorn oak and a touch of heat on the finish, but has considerable potential. Score: 89-90. Reviewed December 11, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Antica Terra Botanica Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $75. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy aromas of black cherries, rosebush and flint. Middleweight flavors of black cherries, black raspberries, cola and rose water, with a flowery undertone. Well-balanced ripe tannins and a focused, chalky finish leaving behind a lively fruit impression. Not the drive, extract and power we have come to expect from Shea Vineyard in this vintage, but still a wine of interest. Tasted the following day from a previously opened bottle, the nose was very perfumed and flowery with hints of oak and spice, the wine was smooth and soft on the palate, and some appealing spice had been added to the flavor profile. Very good. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Antica Terra Botanica Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., $75. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Very shy, but pleasant aromas of black cherry, forest floor and oak. Good dark red fruit presence in the mouth with an earthy, cedary oak undertone. Substantial tannins with lively acidity and some length to the vibrant, oak-tinged finish. On the austere side in this vintage. I like the flavor of this wine but the oak and tannins are out of balance with the modest fruit. About the same the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 87. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Antica Terra Ceras Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

12.7% alc., $75. Botanica’s counterpoint. · Moderately dark reddish-purple hue in the glass. Nicely blessed with aromas of cherry, red plum, spice and rose petal with a touch of fine oak. Beautifully composed and harmonious with a delicious mid weight core of dark cherry and blueberry fruits backed by an oak imprint. Very polished and sophisticated, juicy and invigorating with plenty of potential. Definitely seems to have been made with some whole cluster fermentation. Score: 92. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Antica Terra Erratica Willamette Valley Rosé

13.0% alc., $50 (sold out). This wine has serious intentions, sporting a heavy bottle and wax top. Named for the giant rocks that are carried on the backs of glaciers and left to rest hundreds of miles from their true home. The juice is macerated on the skins for a little over a week. Between day 6 and 8, the aromatics of the fermentation reach a peak of expression and at this point, just before it becomes red wine, the juice is siphoned from the fermenters and sent to barrel, where the juice finishes its fermentation and ages on the lees for a year before bottling. In a conventional sense, this is not how rosé is produced. · Light orange-red color in the glass. Lovely and seductive on the nose, with delicate aromas of fresh strawberries, pomegranate, rhubarb, herbs, oak and even pear. Creamy and substantial, with vivid flavors of strawberries and red currants with a hint of oak-driven mocha and vanilla. Delicious and inviting, with a refreshing lift of acidity on the finish. A perfect compliment to grilled salmon. Reviewed May 11, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Antica Terra Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $50. This wine is based on fruit from the 11-acre Antica Terra Vineyard. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of fresh plums, violets, forest floor, tea, and toasty oak. Very soft and smooth in the mouth, with luscious flavors of black plums, blackberries, herbs and mocha java. Supple tannins and moderate acidity make for a pleasing palate experience. Very good. Reviewed May 11, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Antica Terra Botanica Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $75 (sold out). Built around fruit from Shea Vineyard in the Yamhill- Carlton District where grapes are sourced from 8 acres of Pinot Noir split between East and West Hill. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Delicate aromas of black cap raspberries and plum sauce waif from the glass. Round, rich and Rubenesque, yet very smooth, seamless and light on its feet, offering delicious flavors of black plum, black raspberry and spice, caressed by gossamer tannins. Amazing flavor at a modest alcohol level. Perfect integration of oak and impeccable balance. Approachable now, but can go the distance. America, this is a Pinot Noir we can be very proud of. Winemaker Maggie Harrison is in it to win it! Reviewed May 11, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Antica Terra Antikythera Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., $100. Released November 1, 2012. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of dark red cherries and berries, bramble, stem, rose petal and toasty new oak. Light and soft on the palate featuring red fruit flavors with a slight green, herbal undertone. Seamless, with gossamer tannins and a very long, slightly tart red cherry finish. Tasted later in the day, the wine still had a slight vegetal and floral tone. I suspect this wine needs more time for full expression and to fully integrate the oak. Not sure how it will turn out. Good. Reviewed January 19, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Antica Terra Antikythera Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., 440 cases, $100. Released October 1, 2013. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Demure aromas of dark red cherries and berries and espresso. Middleweight core of black cherry fruit buried in charred, smoky oak. The tannins are soft and the juicy finish is pleasing with good mineral-laden acidity and length. There is not enough fruit in this delicate wine to stand up to the oak. Smokers should like this wine. Tasted previously on January 19, 2013 with a similar impression. Score: 86. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 Antica Terra Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $50. A blend of estate fruit with grapes from Shea, Old School, Cherry Grove, Johan and Bliss vineyards. Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Black cherry based aromas and flavors lashed with a noticeable oak presence of char, tobacco and coffee, but offering nuances of earth and grilled mushrooms. Creamy and silky, with firm but supple tannins, and a pleasing aromatic finish. Better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Will benefit from time in the cellar. Good (+). Reviewed August 13, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Antica Terra Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $50. Released April 2011. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Black cherry and black raspberry is at the heart of this wine which displays prominent oak-driven aromas and flavors of roasted coffee beans and mocha java. Moderately rich with supple tannins, the wine can be enjoyed now, but will benefit from more time in bottle to allow the oak to further integrate. Good (+). Reviewed November 29, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Antica Terra Botanica Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

15.0% alc., $75, wax closure. Released April 2011. Unusual ripeness for Willamette Valley fruit reminiscent of the 2006 vintage in Oregon. A blend of fruit from Antica Terra Estate, Shea Vineyard and Stephen Hagen’s vineyard near Junction City. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. Demure aromas of very ripe strawberries and berry triffle. Medium-weighted flavors of ripe, sweet, dark red fruits wrapped in soft fine-grain tannins, leaving a lingering impression of lush fruit on the finish. Seamless, with a very sensual mouth feel, displaying well-integrated oak. A black tie, fruit-driven wine that is California in spirit. One would never guess this wine had 15% alcohol because it has the necessary fruit, acid and tannin to keep the wine in balance with the alcohol. It is not my favorite style of wine, but I have to admit finding it enjoyable. Very good. Reviewed November 29, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Antica Terra Estate Grown Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., $100, wax closure. Released November 2011. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. An engaging Pinot Noir with gorgeous perfume of wild berries, Christmas spices, mesquite, underbrush and coffee. The allure carries through on the palate with layers of flavorful dark berries, savory additions of leaf and spice, an exotic note of musk, and a complimentary underpinning of smoky oak. Impeccably balanced and very sensual in the mouth. A beautiful food wine. Even better the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. If this Pinot were a lover instead of a wine, it’s one that would make you abandon your family, leave your job, and forfeit your hard-won position in the community for just one more fling. Reviewed November 29, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Antica Terra Rosé Willamette Valley

14.2% alc., 88 cases, $35. 66% Pommard, 33% Dijon 115. 33% whole cluster. Full natural MLF with 6 months aging in 3rd-fill French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately deep reddish-orange color. Lovely aromas of fresh strawberries, blood oranges and a touch of white peach and herbs. A substantial rosé that is mouth filling on the attack strutting flavors of fresh berries, orange peel and savory herbs with some persistence on the bright finish. This is a stunning wine that even a Pinot Noir purist like myself would be proud to take to any classy restaurant. This wine should put to rest any stigma that has been attached to rosé. Reviewed July 9, 2009 ARTICLE »

2008 Antica Terra Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 1,111 cases, $46. Released April 1, 2010. 52% Antica Terra, 27% Shea and 21% Cherry Grove vineyards. 90% de-stemmed without crushing (10% whole cluster). Aged in 31% new and 69% 1 to 3-year-old French oak barrels. Never racked until sent into tank for bottling. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Well-perfumed with aromas of spiced berries, savory herbs, lavender and cut flowers. Classy juice that is both bright and lithe with flavors of dark berries, cherries, mocha and savory herbs. Drinkable now, but will be much better in another 6 to 12 months. Very good. Reviewed June 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Antica Terra Botanica Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 185 cases, 120 magnums, $75. Released April 1, 2010. 50% Antica Terra, 38% Shea and 12% Cherry Grove vineyards. De-stemmed 89% without crushing. 11% whole cluster. Aged in 63% new and 37% seasoned French oak barrels. · The nose is reticent initially, becoming more charming with time in the glass showing a melange of berry fruits, Herbs de Provence and a hint of oak. Lovely depth and richness of flavor featuring the entire array of berries including boysenberry, blackberry and strawberry with an underpinning of savory herbs. A charming wine with supple tannins, bright acidity and fruit in perfect harmony. Needs plenty of foreplay (translate: decanting) to drink now. A magnificent effort that will reward long term cellaring. Reviewed June 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Antica Terra Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 1,270 cases, $46. Released April 1 2009.Packaged in a distinctive tall-necked bottle. 53% Antica Terra Vineyard, 28% Shea Vineyard, 9% Cherry Grove Vineyard, 9% Croft Vineyard. 91% de-stemmed without crushing. Fermented in small, open-top fermenters with manual punch downs. Into barrel using gravity flow with 27% press. Aged in 53% new French oak. Unfined and unfiltered. · Teasing aromas of berry tart and spiced raspberries with a hint of pine tree. Tasty dark berry, black cherry and plum with nuances of minerality, earthiness, seasoned oak, spice and musk, which come and go in the glass. There might be some pheromones in there as well as I could not turn away from the glass. This wine has plenty of richness to satisfy, but not in the über-rich mold of SQN. It is very clean and silky with imperceptible tannins and impeccable balance. This beauty will hold your interest and is a truly unique artisan Pinot Noir. Reviewed August 5, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Antica Terra Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., $46. Bottled in a tall Riesling-type bottle. · Deep reddish-purple color. Alluring aromas of black cherry, fresh berries and toasty oak leading to a full-on delicious black cherry and ripe plum attack. A touch of earth, spice and anise adds interest. Rich, velvety and full with bracing acidity on the finish. Reviewed September 15, 2008 ARTICLE »

2004 Antica Terra Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $38.50. This wine comes from a small Gaston, Oregon producer. This was the last vintage for co-founder and former winemaker Marty Weber. Maggie Harrison, who spent the last eight years as an assistant winemaker at Sine Qua Non, took over in 2005. · Light in color, the attractive aromatics displayed cherry, pepper, a hint of spearmint, and a touch of barnyard. Decent peppery fruit led to a slightly astringent finish. Reviewed February 12, 2007 ARTICLE »