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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 finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

SOU479024_2015 Item# 353704