An Anderson Valley Grand Cru
The 15-acre Demuth Vineyard and the neighboring Cerise Vineyard are the two most extraordinary Pinot Noir plots in the Anderson Valley. The exquisite, high-toned reds off Demuth have appeared on The French Laundry wine list and left critics grasping for adjectives. Our allocation of the Demuth 2013s — secured before the purchase at $34.99 by the bottle — might be the last time this delicate, cherry-scented Burgundian wine ever goes for under $40.
Once California’s best kept-secret, today Anderson Valley is where Sonoma’s greatest Pinot Noir-makers are doing some of their most exciting work, drawn by the cool microclimate, steady breezes off the Pacific, and high-elevation hillside plantings. Few places showcase the virtues of the region as brilliantly as Demuth.
The vineyard sits among 800 acres of undulating hillsides, reaching 1,700 feet at its highest elevation. Even in mid-summer, the winds off the Pacific keep daytime highs in the mid-70s. Foggy mornings and evenings slow down the maturation cycle, stretching out the growing season. Yields are tiny, as is berry size.
In 2013, the 7 acres of Pinot Noir that Peter Knez farmed at Demuth Vineyard were treated to a picture-perfect growing season. Despite drought conditions and bright sunshine, temperatures remained mild while chilly maritime winds refreshed and cleansed the vines. A high skin-to-juice ratio meant excellent color extraction, tannin maturity, and overall depth and structure.
In 2013, the Knez Pinot Noir Demuth Vineyard pulled down 92 points from Vinous’s Antonio Galloni, who called it “ethereal and fleeting” and raved about its “pulsating salinity.” This is one of the finest coastal Pinot Noirs of the vintage, for exceptional value.