Three Sticks Durell Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
Typical of Durell Chardonnay, this wine bursts with lemon meringue and orange blossom, with notes of white tea and honey.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The 2017 vintage is a milestone for Price Family Vineyards, which purchased this prestigious site 20 years prior; the fruit comes from the northernmost, oldest, and coldest section. Aged 15 months in French oak (30% new), the resulting wine has a lush texture, creamy body, and stony center, culminating in a wealth of depth and class. Aromas of lemon verbena and pear tart mesmerize as the palate proffers edgy notes of lemon zest positioned with high acid, which tames the rich texture. It finishes with a mouthful of honeyed apple.
From a great site in the Sonoma Coast that sits on an old riverbed, the 2017 Chardonnay Durell Vineyard spent 15 months mostly in used barrels (30% new). It has a slightly deep gold hue as well as a richer, fuller, more opulent style as well ample baked apples, brioche, toasted bread, and caramelized notes. This is a rich, powerful Chardonnay that’s not as aromatic as the Alana Vineyard, yet packs more muscle on the palate. Drink it over the coming 4-5 years.
Bill Price III purchased the Durell Vineyard in the late 1990s, using it as the foundation for Three Sticks. Bob Cabral makes this wine from its oldest chardonnay blocks, some dating to 1976. The wine ferments and ages in French oak, and it’s the oak that comes first, like the mast of a ship rising up in the distance. Then the body of the wine takes shape, layering fresh pineapple, nectarine and loquat over savory structure, earthy, spicy and tense. This is powerful, with a long life ahead.
Full-bodied, powerful and rich, with concentrated flavors of baked apple, dried pear and custard, backed by bright acidity. Pastry and buttery notes linger on the creamy finish, with some savory hints. Drink now through 2024.
From an estate vineyard, this white is juicy and densely layered, with strong flavors of black licorice, wet stone, salt and dried herb. Made in a full-bodied generous style, it has a lush texture and undeniable complexity, the fruit taking on a tropical fruit profile dipped in flinty rock and nutmeg spice
Generous yet elegantly packaged, showing buttered toast and poached pear. Lots of sweet spice, and walnut on the finish.
Whether by dint of vintage or design, the 2017 Durell Vineyard Chardonnay is on the slightly sparing side with respect to richness and reach. It is bright, very carefully oaked and shows a slight, somewhat minerally bias, and it counts good energy as a plus, and, if a very good wine, it remains to be seen, that with further time on the cork, it might find the fruity amplitude required to claim full two-star recommendation.
Three Sticks Wines is a boutique, family-owned winery led by veteran winemaker Bob Cabral. Cabral's commitment to crafting small-lot, artisanal wines from exceptional Sonoma Coast vineyards, including Durell Vineyard, Gap's Crown Vineyard and Walala Vineyard, drives the winery's focus of creating site specific wines. Founded in 2002, the winery is named for owner William S. Price III's surfing nickname, "Billy Three Sticks," assigned to him in his youth as reference to the Roman numeral that follows his name. Three Sticks has a down to earth approach to growing and winemaking, they believe in table fellowship as the power of wine to bring people together.
Bill and Eva Price are lovers of Sonoma’s grapes and rich history. The Vallejo-Castenada Adobe (built in 1842) was built by Captain Salvador Vallejo, brother of General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, the Commandante Generale of the northern territory of Mexico (modern day Sonoma). The Prices purchased the property in 2012 and embarked on a two-year preservation project. The Three Sticks team worked with Sonoma historians and the Sonoma League for Historic Preservation to restore and protect the fabric of the property. They commissioned San Francisco-based designer Ken Fulk and his team to design the ambience of the Adobe, as it is known locally. The historic landmark in downtown Sonoma is now home to the hospitality of Three Sticks.
Perhaps the most historically significant appellation in Sonoma County, the Sonoma Valley is home to both Buena Vista winery, California's oldest commercial winery, and Gundlach Bundschu winery, California's oldest family-run winery.
It is also one of the more geologically and climactically diverse districts. The valley includes and overlaps four distinct Sonoma County sub-appellations, including Carneros, Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Mountain and Bennett Valley. With mountains, benchlands, plains, abundant sunshine and the cooling effects of the nearby Pacific, this appellation can successfully produce a wide range of grape varieties. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, and most notably, Zinfandel all thrive here. Ancient Zinfandel vines over 100 years old produce small crops of concentrated, spicy fruit, which in turn make some of the Valley's most unique wines. These can also be made as “field blends” (wines made from a mix of grape varieties grown in the same vineyard) along with Petite Sirah, Carignan and Alicante Bouschet.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.