Reviews

from Vinous Tasting Notes

by Antonio Galloni – February 2016

2014 Knez Demuth Vineyard Chardonnay…91 points

The 2014 Chardonnay Demuth Vineyard is a very pretty, expressive wine. Dried pear, peach, slate, almond, chamomile and wild flowers are all nicely layered. Open-knit and accessible, the 2014 is not especially complex, but it is delicious and should continue to drink well over the next handful of years.

2014 Knez Cerise Vineyard Chardonnay…88 points

The 2014 Chardonnay Cerise Vineyard is laced with the essence of lemon oil, white flowers, mint and white pepper, all of which lend considerable aromatic brightness. Drink this restrained, mid-weight Chardonnay over the next few years

2014 Knez Anderson Valley Pinot Noir…93 points

The 2014 Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley) is a bold, absolutely delicious wine to drink now and over the next few years. Racy and explosive to the core, the 2014 boasts serious depth, with tons of up-front fruit and the layered radiance that is such a signature of top Anderson Valley Pinots. This is an impressive appellation-level Pinot that overdelivers, big time.

2014 Knez Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir…92 points

The 2014 Pinot Noir Reserve Knez Vineyard is another strong wine from Knez. Rich, powerful and explosive, the Reserve is pushed to the very limit of what this site can offer. The super-extracted, dense style won’t appeal to all readers who enjoy Anderson Valley Pinots, but somehow all the elements seem to fall into place. Dark red and purplish hued fruits, smoke, licorice and sweet spices flow through the explosive, huge finish. The Reserve is not at all subtle, but it is nicely done, in its style.

2014 Knez Cerise Vineyard Pinot Noir…95 points

Dark red and purplish hued fruits, wild flowers, mint, spices and rose petal notes meld together in the 2014 Pinot Noir Cerise Vineyard. The Cerise is deceptively medium in body, but it packs serious intensity. Expressive, floral-infused aromatics give the Cerise its inner sweetness and perfume, while beams of underlying tannin give the wine its shape. This is another superb wine from Knez.

2014 Knez Vineyard Syrah…93 points

The 2014 Syrah Knez Vineyard is a dense, powerful wine. Inky blue and purplish fruit, smoke, spices, licorice, mint and lavender are pushed forward. Varietal notes lie more in the background, as the 2014 is mostly a wine built on concentration and textural richness. It will be interesting to see if the Syrah finds a little more finesse with time in the bottle. Today, it is incredibly primary, yet the potential is there.


from Wine & Spirits

October, 2015

2013 Anderson Valley Demuth Vineyard Chardonnay…93 points
The 30-year-old, dry-farmed vines at Demuth, grown on a hillside above Boonville at 1500 feet of elevation, barely eke out enough fruit to pay for their upkeep. But they do regularly grow some of the most detailed chardonnay in California. This 2013, made by Anthony Filiberti, has a delicate clarity, its aromas as fresh as lemon peel and meadow flowers the structure firm yet smooth, like a worn-down seashell. It would be irresistible with wild prawns sauteed in garlic.


from Vinous Tasting Notes

by Antonio Galloni – January 2015

2013 Knez Anderson Valley Pinot Noir…90 points
The 2013 Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley) is quite floral, lifted and delicate in style. Raspberry, crushed flowers and mint are some of the notes that grace this pretty, entry-level offering from Knez. Today, the 2013 comes across as a bit ethereal, with plenty of influence from the 50-60% whole clusters. The wine’s mid-weight personality leads me to think it is best enjoyed sooner rather than later. The 2013 is approximately 2/3rds Cerise and 1/3rd Demuth fruit.

2013 Knez Demuth Vineyard Pinot Noir…92 points
The 2013 Pinot Noir Demuth Vineyard is very pretty. Bright saline notes support a core of finely sculpted fruit in a Pinot long on class and detail. Small red berries, rose petals, mint and spices blossom as this striking, perfumed Pinot shows off its personality and class. Next to some of the other Pinots in the range, the Demuth is a bit more ethereal and fleeting, reflecting the nature of this high altitude site. What comes through most is the wine’s intense inner perfume and pulsating salinity.

2013 Knez Cerise Vineyard Pinot Noir…94 points
Knez’s 2013 Pinot Noir Cerise Vineyard is bright, focused and utterly compelling. Firm yet well integrated tannins give the 2013 much of its energy and tension. The style is crystalline and pure. The 2013 was done with two-thirds whole clusters, but they are impeccably balanced. In 2013, the Cerise captures the essence of winemaker Anthony Filiberti’s vision. The clonal mix of Pommard, David Bruce and Martini also add to the wine’s considerable pedigree. This is a great example of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir.

2013 Knez Vineyard Syrah…95 points
The 2013 Syrah Knez Vineyard is simply magnificent. Lavender, violets, smoke, hard candy, sweet plums and mint are some of the many notes that emerge from a wine that captivates all the senses. Exotic, layered and intensely perfumed, the 2013 is a wine of real intrigue. This late-ripening site yielded just one ton per acre, and while the fruit is quite racy, the personality of the vineyard and the 100% whole clusters give the wine a gorgeous upper register.

2013 Knez Demuth Vineyard Chardonnay…93 points
The 2013 Chardonnay Demuth is beautifully textured and exotic in the glass. Even though this fruit was picked at relatively low sugars, the inherent richness of this late harvest in the first week of October and the personality of these old Wente clones comes though in spades. Hints of almond, orange peel, mint and tangerine flesh out on a super-inviting finish supported by a real sense of phenolic intensity.


from Vinous Tasting Notes

by Antonio Galloni – May 2014

2012 Knez Demuth Vineyard Pinot Noir…93 points
A gorgeous wine, the 2012 Pinot Noir Demuth is all about balance. Here, the more favorable growing season yielded a Pinot long on class and elegnace. Bright cranberry, flowers and cinnamon jump from the glass, but ultimately, the 2012 is a wine of texture and depth, with better balance than the 2012 and tons of near-term appeal. Anticipated maturity 2014-2019.

2012 Knez Cerise Vineyard Pinot Noir…94 points
A blast of sweet red fruit, pomegranate, mint, licorice and sweet spices hits the palate in the 2012 Pinot Noir Cerise, a wine of pure density and power. The 2012 needs another few years to fully come together, but it is impressive. This is a decidedly powerful, intense wine from Knez, with remarkable texture and exceptional overall balance. The 2012 was vinified with 40-75% whole clusters, depending on the specific lot. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2020.

2012 Knez Vineyard Syrah…94 points
The 2012 Syrah from Knez’s estate vineyard, is insanely beautiful. Dark, layered and expressive to the core, the 2012 stands out for its balance and class. Black cherries, smoke and licorice emerge from the glass, followed by brighter, floral/savory notes from the inclusion of stems (100%) and the drops of Viognier in the blend. Quite simply, this is a ridiculously beautiful, vivid Syrah from Knez. This is the first wine off a site in just its third leaf. While it is not unheard of for vineyards to produce fabulous fruit in their third leaf, this is a remarkable debut effort just the same. I can’t wait to see how things develop here in the coming years. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2020.

2012 Knez Anderson Valley Pinot Noir…90 points
The 2012 Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley) wraps around the palate with gorgeous depth. Cranberry, pomegranate, sweet spices and roses meld together in an expressive, resonant Pinot with tons of appeal and pure texture. What a pretty wine this is. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2018.


 

from Vinous Tasting Notes

by Antonio Galloni – February 2014

2011 Knez Demuth Vineyard Chardonnay…91 points
Pears, almonds, hazelnuts, Chamomile and honeyed notes are all woven together in the 2011 Chardonnay Demuth Vineyard. The flavors are deep, burnished and textured, with all of the signatures of the Wente clone Chardonnay. An expressive, layered finish rounds things out in style. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2017.

2011 Knez Demuth Vineyard Pinot Noir…89 points
Layers of sweet red fruit, tobacco, underbrush and mint emerge from the glass in the 2011 Pinot Noir Demuth. Although the aromas and flavors are quite delicate, the tannins remain a bit firm. Still, all the elements fall into place very nicely. The 2011 finishes with terrific focus and energy. Today, acidity and tannin seem to dominate over the fruit, which suggests the 2011 is best enjoyed sooner rather than later. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2018.

2011 Knez Cerise Vineyard Pinot Noir…93 points
The best balanced of these three 2011 Pinots from Kenz, the 2011 Pinot Noir Cerise bristles with energy and tension. Blood orange, crushed rocks, minerals, plums and roses flesh out in a layered, vibrant Pinot bursting with focus. The 2011 turns a bit savory in the glass, but those notes just add complexity and distinctiveness. The 2011 was done with 50% stems. It is a gorgeous wine from start to finish. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2020.

 


from Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar

May/June 2014

by Josh Raynolds

Production from the Knez vineyards was about 40% higher in 2012 than it was in 2011, according to Anthony Filiberti.  “That sounds like a lot but our sites are cold, and warmer places like down in the Russian River Valley got up to double the previous year’s crop,” he explained.  Filiberti told me that he is trying to make the Knez wines more graceful and has been steadily backing off of aggressive extraction.  That means moving to two punchdowns a day rather than three and using more whole clusters to extend the fermentations while adding perfume and structure.  For the 2013s he went to an even more gentle single punchdown per day but noted that “there’s not a real recipe; that’s just what made sense in ’13.”  The Cerise vineyard, in particular, needs to be handled gently, he said, “because it gives so much power on its own” and can make overly muscular wines if it’s allowed to.

2012 Knez Winery Demuth Vineyard Chardonnay…91
Light gold.  Sexy, smoke-accented aromas of ripe citrus and orchard fruits and white flowers pick up a chalky mineral element with air.  Offers deeply pitched orange and pear flavors and a musky licorice nuance that gains power with air.  A hint of iodine emerges on the finish, which shows superb energy and focus.  This complex wine reminded me of a high-class Chassagne-Montrachet.

2012 Knez Anderson Valley Pinot Noir …90
(made with two-thirds whole clusters):  Vivid ruby-red.  Expressive red berry and floral aromas are enlivened by zesty mineral and spice notes and a hint of orange pith.  Vibrant and precise on the palate, offering juicy raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a touch of candied rose.  Finishes spicy and long, with building sweetness and silky, even tannins.

2012 Knez Cerise Vineyard Pinot Noir…91
Ruby-red.  Energetic cherry and dark berry scents are complemented by deeper notes of licorice and cola.  Sappy and broad on the palate, offering intense black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a touch of smokiness.  Finishes with dark berries, excellent clarity and length and youthfully chewy tannins.

2012 Knez Estate Syrah Vineyard…91(+?)
Inky purple.  A complex, highly perfumed bouquet evokes candied black and blue fruits, violet and licorice, with a smoky overtone building with air. Densely packed but lively and precise, with very good clarity to its deep blueberry and cassis flavors.  A touch of bitter chocolate builds with air and lingers on the strikingly long, powerfully tannic finish.  Still very young but shows excellent promise.

2012 Knez Demuth Vineyard Pinot Noir…91
Bright ruby.  Heady aromas of red and dark berry liqueur, lavender and incense are sharpened by a zesty mineral quality.  Offers vibrant boysenberry and cola flavors and a hint of licorice, along with a suave floral character.  Acts a lot like an elegant northern Rhone syrah, but with pinot’s delicate touch. Closes with strong sappy persistence and a sweetening vanilla nuance.

2011 Knez Anderson Valley Pinot Noir …90
Vivid red. Spicy strawberry and raspberry aromas display appealing freshness and elegant floral nuances. Energetic red fruit flavors gain depth and power with air, picking up notes of cola and floral pastilles. Leaves spice and rose notes behind on the long, supple, gently smoky finish.

2011 Knez Demuth Vineyard  Pinot Noir …92
(made with 50% whole clusters): Bright red. Intensely perfumed aromas of candied red fruits, potpourri and musky herbs. Spicy and sharply focused, offering vibrant raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a hint of allspice. Takes a deeper and darker turn on the lengthy finish, which features a sweet boysenberry quality.

2011 Knez Cerise Vineyard Pinot Noir … 92
Deep red. Dark berries and cherry pit on the nose and palate. Shows a chewy quality and a firm edge on entry but fleshes out with air, picking up a candied lavender nuance. Finishes sweet and long, with youthful tannins and impressive length.

 


from San Francisco Chronicle, December 2011
The Top 100 Wines of 2011: Cheers to Thinking Small

by Jon Bonné

2009 Knez Winery Cerise Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir ($39, 13.4%): It might taste like old-time Anderson Valley, but here’s a sign of the area going back to the future. From Peter Knez, who purchased the stellar Cerise and Demuth sites a few years ago, and made by Anthill Farms’ Anthony Filiberti, this meshes subtle oak perfume with a tightly wound package of cardamom, carnation and cherry blossom, and coppery berry fruit.


from San Francisco Chronicle, October 2011
Anderson Valley Pinot Noir: The Chronicle Recommends

by Jon Bonné

2009 Knez Winery Cerise Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir ($39, 13.4%): The label from Peter Knez, owner of the Cerise and Demuth sites. Made by Anthill Farms’ Anthony Filiberti, there’s a slight perfume of oak atop cardamom, carnation and cherry blossom. A hallmark of the older Anderson Valley style, with a sanguine touch to the berry fruit and a surprisingly firm raft of tannins.


from Burghound, October 2011

2009 Pinot Noir – Cerise Vineyard
Note: Anderson Valley, 13.4%

A similar but more restrained nose leads to supple and seductively textured flavors that possess better mid-palate density and I particularly like the satiny mouth feel, all wrapped in a balanced, classy and impeccably well-balanced finish that evidences a bit more underlying structure. Like the straight pinot, this is also very stylish and worth your consideration.

Tasted: Oct 01, 2011 Score: 90 Drink: 2014+
Comments: Outstanding

2009 Pinot Noir – Demuth Vineyard
Note: Anderson Valley, 14%

A cool, pure and spicy nose combines red currant and cherry liqueur aromas that serve as an elegant introduction to the delicious, round and plump medium weight flavors that possess an opulent, even lush mouth feel. There is ample dry extract on the reserved yet slightly sweet and ever-so-mildly warm finish.

Tasted: Oct 01, 2011 Score: 89 Drink: 2013+

2009 Pinot Noir
Note: Anderson Valley, 13.4%

Tasting note: An extremely pretty and very spicy nose features notes of both red and blue pinot fruit along with hints of cherry and plum. The delicious, rich, round and notably fleshy medium-bodied flavors are not especially concentrated or complex yet very well balanced and solidly persistent. This understated effort is really quite stylish.

Tasted: Oct 01, 2011 Score: 88 Drink: 2013+


from Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, May 2011

by Josh Raynolds

2009 Knez Winery Chardonnay Demuth Vineyard Anderson Valley … 90
Bright yellow. Pungent aromas of lemon curd, pear skin, iodine and chamomile. Sappy, penetrating orchard fruit flavors are energized by zesty citrus notes and show a distinctly spicy character. Deep but animated, finishing with very good clarity and lingering spiciness. These grapes were harvested at a low 22 degrees Brix.

2009 Knez Winery Pinot Noir Anderson Valley … 90
Bright red. Sexy aromas of strawberry and raspberry preserves, with slow-building spiciness and a hint of potpourri. Supple, palate-coating red fruit flavors show an intriguing rose pastille quality and gain vivacity with air. Finishes silky, sweet and quite persistent. Leading with its fruit right now but there’s a spine of tangy acidity that bodes well for cellaring.

2009 Knez Winery Pinot Noir Demuth Vineyard Anderson Valley … 92
Vivid red. Explosively perfumed, seductive bouquet of raspberry liqueur, star anise, cinnamon and pomegranate molasses. Powerful but lithe in the mouth, offering sweet red fruit and spice flavors and suave rose pastille and blood orange nuances. A seamless and fruit-driven pinot with excellent finishing cut and lingering florality. I find this wine pretty irresistible right now.

2009 Knez Winery Pinot Noir Cerise Vineyard Anderson Valley …92
Ruby-red. Assertively perfumed aromas of black raspberry, sassafras and musky herbs, along with a hint of star anise. Lush and expansive but surprisingly lively, offering an array of spicy red and dark berry flavors and a hint of bitter cherry. Seamless and smooth on the finish, which leaves notes of dark berry preserves and candied violet behind. This wine’s mix of depth and vivacity is pretty compelling; it was fermented with 40% whole clusters, according to winemaker Anthony Filiberti.