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Three Sticks The James Pinot Noir 2015

Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • TP93
  • WS92
14.1% ABV
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14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

“The James” Pinot Noir is our only Pinot from Santa Barbara County in Southern California. It comes from three of the Sta. Rita Hills’ most acclaimed vineyards: Sanford & Benedict, La Rinconada and Rita’s Crown Vineyards. The Sta. Rita Hills appellation is characterized by its east to west valley that channels fog inland directly from the Pacific Ocean. Strong winds and thick fog quickly cool the region down in the evenings.

This wine exemplifies the verve and spice that this growing region bestows on Pinot Noir. “The James” shows off bright red fruits, bergamot and fresh rose notes. On the palate you are greeted with ripe strawberries and cranberries giving way to a fresh, spicy finish that lingers forever.

Critical Acclaim

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TP 93
Tasting Panel
An elegant wine from Santa Barbara County; toasty, lush, and refreshing with depth and robust style.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Balanced, with plenty of juiciness to the red plum and raspberry flavors, offering hints of tangerine. Finishes firmly tannic, showing notes of olive and tarragon. Drink now through 2021.
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Three Sticks

Three Sticks

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Three Sticks, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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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.

Sta. Rita Hills

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A superior source of California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills is the coolest, westernmost sub-region of the larger Santa Ynez Valley appellation within Santa Barbara County. This relatively new AVA is unquestionably one to keep an eye on.

The climate of Sta. Rita Hills is a natural match for Chardonnay and Pinot noir, thanks to the crisp ocean breezes and well-drained, limestone-rich calcareous soil. Here, grapes ripen just enough, while retaining brisk acidity and harmonious balance.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

SOU479024_2015 Item# 353704