As the label states: In Spanish the term ‘Ano Verde’ is used to describe a moment in time when magical things happen and all is good.
The Ano Verde comes to us from Santa Barbara County–more specifically, Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez. It is also 100% Pinot Noir, which is becoming increasingly rare these days. Santa Barbara has a very unique climate with very cool, coastal temperatures, warming as you go further inland, but the coast remains a major influence. The sun-filled days, coastal breezes and clear, cool nights help create the perfect environment for some of the best Pinot Noir.
Bill Nancarrow, Ano’s winemaker, has put forth a serious effort in this bottle of Pinot Noir. The color is lucent deep purple that lightens towards its outer ring. As you would expect there are aromas of dark cherry, raspberry and white pepper, laced with hints of cola and mocha that are very distinctive to the region of Santa Barbara. It has a very lush and seductive texture immersed in flavors of blackberry, sweet cherry and licorice with a faint oak presence on the finish. This wine has proper structure and balance, characteristics that are missing from a lot of wines these days and certainly from some Pinot Noirs coming from California. Nancarrow ages this Pinot for 11 months in Burgundian barrels, 30% of which are new.
The Ano Verde delivers on all levels–quality, palate and price–in my opinion, and for someone that continues to have a love/hate relationship with Pinot Noir, that’s saying something!
Heather Burton, Wine & Spirits Supervisor
Follow me on Twitter @abcwineheatherb