Three Sticks Price Family Estates Pinot Noir 2018
2018 was one of those magical years. With a mild spring, the early growing season plodded along at a relatively normal pace. Once the berries set, they knew they had a healthy and full crop. So full, in fact, they did a number of fruit-thinning passes to reduce the load on the vines. Even with this, they were happy to see an above-average harvest with superb quality. They started picking in earnest after Labor Day, with cool, fall weather that allowed them to transfer the grapes in a calm and measured pace. All in all, 2018 will go down as a year to remember, with wines of true depth and power.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Simply put, the first two Three Sticks Pinots from the 2018 vintage are lovely wines that both reinforce our high regard for this accomplished estate and have us eagerly awaiting for what necessarily will be more to come in the months ahead. The Price Family Estates bottling is a precise, very well-measured effort that sets its sights on vigorous, red cherry fruit early on and takes on added interest as judicious sweet oak and hints of dried flowers come into play. Long and vibrant and beautifully balanced with energy to spare, it is a wine well worth waiting on for at least a couple of years however immensely appealing it may be at present.
The 2018 Pinot Noir Price Family Estates has a medium ruby color and scents of crushed black cherries, lilac and forest floor with nuances of mint leaves, pepper and oolong tea. Medium-bodied, it offers spicy flavors in a smooth frame with addicting juiciness and a long, nuanced finish.
Blended from a selection of estate sites, from Walala and Gap’s Crown to Durell, this red is hearty in blue fruit, black cherry and earthy forest floor. Burly tannins wrap around the dense core of length and expanse—a bold statement of a wine.
Cranberries, dried hedgerow herbs, liquorice and sweet spice meet lovely classic raspberry and cherry aromas with an earthy, tarry note.
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.
A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs all the way from the Mendocino County border, south to the San Pablo Bay. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the actual coastal vineyards, marked by marine soils, cool temperatures and saline ocean breezes—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, which are still heavily influenced by the Pacific but not quite with same intensity.
Contained within the appellation are the much smaller Fort Ross-Seaview and Petaluma Gap AVAs.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”