Here we are, wrapping up the third and final installment for the Three Sticks Chardonnays for 2017 that have recently been released.
I have to say that this was a really fun assignment, self-imposed as it was, to take on three different Chardonnays from the same winery. Like other influences and knowledge building exercises, this one made me do a little head scratching and a little deeper dive into winemaking. Of course, anything that brings me greater insight into this business, for me, are lessons well learned and so useful.
Let’s move on then to this week’s wine. The Three Sticks Sonoma Mountain “One Sky” Chardonnay 2017. As I pointed out in the last episode concerning the “Gap’s Crown” Chardonnay, the “One Sky” Vineyard is slightly East of “Gap’s Crown” and, as the name implies, within the Sonoma Mountains on the Eastern facing slopes. This is Three Sticks first organically farmed vineyard; it sits at elevations around 1,400 feet with minimal acreage. Located above the fog line, the area is the recipient of warm sunny afternoons and cool evenings.
I was really looking forward to this wine. I love mountain fruit, so I reasoned, and rightly so, that this wine would be no different. I did, however, get a little surprise when I poured the wine and began my assessment. Maybe it’s just me (boy have I said that to myself when pondering the results after a first date) but with a cooler climate I was expecting maybe the same or even slightly more acidity to the wine than the “Gap’s Crown.” Couldn’t have been more wrong (now that I HAVE said to myself after a first date). Even the nose was less citrus but with that honeyed toastiness and creamy expression familiar to me from the “Gap’s Crown.” The first sip (and then chug – kidding) confirmed the same. Nice acidity with that same creaminess of the last wine. This time, however, the citrus notes mellowed into slightly more stones fruit and minerality nuances.
So it was after the third sip or so I had to get to the bottom of WHY I tasted something that I THOUGHT should have been the other way around. Checking the tech notes (that’s the geek in me) I did confirm that the Total Acidity of the “One Sky” was lower than that of “Gap’s Crown.” PH was pretty close on both. There was also a bit more French Oak barrel aging both in months and percentage of new oak leaning towards “One Sky.” The last item to jump out at me was soil. Volcanic and Limestone for “One Sky,” Clay Loam for “Gap’s Crown.” Not that I’m a winemaker, just a wine drinker, maybe Bob Cabral needed that extra oak and slightly less acid to better balance the wine. Why do I say that? Because this wine was just that fricking good! Click here for more technical information.
After the “Gap’s Crown,” I didn’t think it could get any better. Oh boy (here’s what I hate saying) WAS I WRONG! Don’t get me wrong (wow, said that word twice in one sentence), I loved the big richness and bold flavors of “Gap’s Crown,” but the luxuriousness and refinement of the “One Sky” bowled me over. They both have a place in my heart and for their ability to pair with the slightly different fare. Not knowing what I was getting, I actually opted for Salmon, again, but this time with a more savory side to it. Sautéed onions, sliced Brussel sprouts, diced potatoes, and thinly sliced garlic all together to add richness to the dish. This would have worked for the “Gap’s Crown,” but not sure I could have used the Citrus Salsa Verde with this wine; too much citrus in the food and not enough in the wine.
By now you may have been able to determine that this wine is a winner. Even better news is that this wine, while still not produced in huge volume, had a larger production than either of the other two wines, making it, POSSIBLY, easier to obtain. Can’t find it? Call the winery. They’ll be as helpful as possible I’m sure.
WOW! As I sit here thinking about how I can best summarize and finalize these three wines, the only thing I can say is: “Get out there and try them yourself!” All three have their own attributes that make them worthy to be placed in any cellar.
Big fan of Chablis; go with the unoaked “Origin” Chardonnay. Like them big rich and full; “Gap’s Crown” is the answer. If you like your wines well rounded, flavorful and, as I said in last week’s post, “just right,” then I recommend the “One Sky.” You know I had to get the Three Bears reference in one last time with the Three Sticks Wines.
Not sure if this should be a warning or a tease, but along with these three Chardonnays, I have two of their Pinot Noirs! Guess what you’re going to be seeing in the coming weeks? Oh, come on, do I have to spell it out for you? Along with my surprise “Off The Cuff” review of their Castañeda Sonoma Coast Rosé earlier this month, I’ll have two more reviews for Pinot Noirs. NICE!
Thanks for reading my rantings. I don’t say that enough. Actually, that was the first time I’ve said it at all……
Last minute additions:
I had “One Sky” over a two day period so I opted to go back to scallops for my dinner the second time around. A little different preparation; Rice with Pineapple Salsa, Sugar Snap Peas, Avocado with a mild Teriyaki Glaze. What’s not to like? It also went very nicely with the wine.
Lastly, I added a video from the winery regarding their “One Sky” Vineyard. If you’re receiving this via email, you won’t see the link. You’ll need to visit my website and view it there. Thanks