After my faux-pas last week, I sat down and made the decision to NOT duplicate that same issue this week. I must say that I even had a couple of additional excuses that were less on the self-abuse side and more on the, as one example mentioned, “I deserved a break!” side. Many thanks for that.
Had my brain been working correctly (wow, I just came up with another excuse – Brain Cloud – with thanks to Tom Hanks and the tiny Pacific island of Waponi Woo), I would have remembered that I had not one but two wines that I needed to review. Two recently released Pinot Noirs from Three Sticks Wines from the 2017 Vintage.
My course laid in I set about preparing how best to compare and contrast the two wines (seems like I use to do a lot of that in school?). As I needed to stretch this out so it would cover not one but two “Wine of the Week” posts. No sweat, I did three straight weeks for their Chardonnays, so two more will be a slam dunk. First up is the
Three Sticks Sonoma Coast “Price Family Estates” Pinot Noir 2017
This is the same wine that was labeled as the “PFV” (Price Family Vineyard) for 2016, and the one which I did a review a year ago. Click here to read that review. The majority of the grapes this year come from their “Walala” Vineyard with the balance coming from their “Gap’s Crown,” “Durell,” and “One Sky” Vineyards. The “One Sky” was an addition to this year’s wine and based on the quality of the “One Sky” Chardonnay that I reviewed recently, the impact of the Pinot Noir added from this area to this wine seemed to provide that same quality.
One other difference between the previous vintage and this wine was the amount of New French Oak used. Last year it amounted to 60% and this year it was cut back to 42%. There’s also the use of Whole Clusters during fermentation. Right around 25% for both wines. Interestingly, the wine provided such wonderful aromatics right out of the ole Coravin it was difficult not to want to just start drinking right away. Who am I kidding? I did just that! My usual *SSSS and I was transported to Pinot Heaven (not sure that exists, but it’s the best way to describe my journey).
Both the aromas and flavor were a touch more rich and earthy/rustic than the 2016, which I remember being a tad more bright fruit driven, thus giving this new wine an opulence of that dark fruit and balanced oak together with a tinge of acidity making this a perfect wine for the two, yes I said two, dinners I prepared. There is a quaint spiciness to the wine that leads you down the path of a long long journey to the finish.
There’s a reason I am so pro-Coravin, and this is one of the best reasons. My ability to enjoy a wine over the course of day(s) or weeks, but for this occasion, it was only a day. Fettuccine with an herb tomato-based pasta sauce with Asparagus and Chicken Breast. The slight acidity (slightly more than the 2016) lending itself to interact with the sauce. Day two was lighter, with Seared Salmon with Harissa Shiitake Mushroom Sauce, rice and broccoli. I just love Pinot with Salmon so everything else there was an aside. This wine provides for a wide range of fare to be paired with and enjoyed. As much as I loved the 2016 “PFV,” I have to say that this wine comes out ahead and should not be missed. To secure your wine, you will need to contact the winery to order. With a scant 865 case production, there is probably some left, but not for long. Click here for more technical information.
One last reiterance I wish to make is to point out that thankfully, the harvest for Three Sticks Wines was picked and in the barrel at the time of the fires in Sonoma and Napa. As the company announced: “Our vineyards were threatened but ultimately were saved with some brave work from our first responders. We are forever grateful for those who put themselves in harm’s way to help save our livelihoods and thankful for our good fortune during this atypical vintage.” Toward Three Sticks and all those that were affected, I would express those same feelings of gratitude.
*SSSS - Swirl - Smell - Sip - Swallow