Three Sticks Wines

Owner(s) Bill Price
Web site www.threestickswines.com
 
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Three Sticks Wines

Bill Price founded Three Sticks in 2002, producing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from the 111 acres of Durell Vineyard that he owns (his ex-wife, Ellie Phipps Price, owns 60 acres of the Durell Vineyard) as well as selling grapes to more than twenty brands. He also produces select wines from purchased fruit such as the Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir which appeared with the 2008 vintage.

"Billy Three Sticks" was a teenage nickname given to him by surfing friends who teased him about his formal name, William S. Price III.

The winemaker is veteran Don Van Staaveren, the former winemaker for Chateau St. Jean (1985-1997), Sand Hill and Dunstan.

Three Sticks Wines is one of the few wineries in California to succeed with the trifecta: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The high quality of Three Sticks wines is easily understandable: relatively old vine vineyard farmed by experienced vineyard manager, a veteran winemaker, and management with years of experience in the wine business.

The wines are sold through an allocation list. A second label, Head High, is to be added.

Reviewed Wines

2012 Three Sticks Origin Durell Vineyard Sonoma Valley Chardonnay

14.6% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.74, 266 cases, $48. Fermented in concrete eggs and aged 14 months in small stainless steel barrels. Malolactic fermentation inhibited. · Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. An array of appealing aromas and flavors include starfruit, grapefruit, lemon-lime, nectarine, yellow plum and banana. Crisp, bright and refreshing with a stony minerality fueling the finish. Score: 90. Reviewed July 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Three Sticks “One Sky” Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay

14.8% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.60, 222 cases, $50. Old Wente selection grown on eastern facing slopes between 900 and 1,100 feet elevation. Soils are red iron volcanic over calcareous strata. Aged 14 months in 50% new French oak. 100% malolactic fermentation. · Moderately golden yellow and clear in the glass. The nose is infused with aromas of lemon, tropical citrus, and buttery oak. The flavors of lemon curd, pear and baked apple are fine, but somewhat weighed down by caramelized oak and alcohol. Slightly creamy on the palate, this wine speaks loudly of “California.” Score: 88. Reviewed July 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Three Sticks Durell Vineyard Origin Sonoma Valley Chardonnay

13.5% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.71, 269 cases, $42. From Old Wente 5 Block (ripe flavor) and V9 Block which is one of the rockiest and windiest areas of Durell (broad flavor and minerality). Fermented in concrete egg and aged in stainless steel for 14 months. No malolactic fermentation. Winemakers Don Van Staaveren and Tracy Bledsoe. · Moderate yellow gold color and clear in the glass. Vibrant and pure aromas of lemon, peach jam, cantaloupe, passion fruit and a hint of butter. Crisp and lively in the mouth, with refreshing flavors of lemon, yellow grapefruit and peach. The finish displays a good bite of acidity along with steely, iced lemon flavors. This wine will please lovers of clean, unoaked, and unplugged Chardonnay. Score: 92. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Three Sticks Durell Vineyard Sonoma Valley Chardonnay

13.5% alc., pH 3.43, TA 0.69, 511 cases, $48. Sourced from Old Wente 1 Block, one of the oldest, coldest and windiest sections of Durell and Rocky Flat Block planted to Dijon 76. Fermented in concrete egg and oak barrels, aged in 60% new French oak barrels for 14 months. 100% malolactic fermentation. · Moderate yellow-gold color and clear in the glass. Very nicely perfumed with aromas of lemon, pear, nori and the faintest oak. A delicious wine of elegance, class and sophistication featuring vivid flavors of lemon curd, lime, spice and toasty oak. Crisp and juicy, with excellent underlying mineral-driven acidity, finishing with length and lemon goodness. I am partial to barrel fermented, 100% malolactic fermented Chardonnay, and this wine delivers without being overwrought with oak-driven accents. Score: 94. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Three Sticks “The James” Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.67, 163 cases, $60. Released September 2013. Sourced from Burning Creek and La Riconada vineyards. Aged 14 months in 67% new French oak puncheons. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely black cherry and dark raspberry fruit highlight the nose that shows a marked oak presence. Delicious core of dark raspberry fruit, intensely flavored and nicely spiced. Oak also stands out on the palate. Balanced tannins and bright acidity are well matched to the fruit. Score: 88. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Three Sticks Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.58, TA 0.65, 206 cases, $60. Released September 2013. Aged 14 months in 50% new French oak barrels. $60. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Dark red cherry and berry aromas and flavors are featured in this wine with a marked oak vanillin accent. Modest in weight with fine-grain tannins, a soft mouth feel and admirable balance. Oak hovers over the finish. Score: 87. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Three Sticks “The James” Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.71, 145 cases, $60. 10% whole cluster. Aged 14 months in 70% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Very shy cherry fruit with notes of stem, herbs and oak on the nose. Crisp and lively on the palate, with exotically spiced dark cherry fruit, featuring very fine grain tannins and complimentary oak in the background. Finishes long and vibrant. Very good. Reviewed March 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Three Sticks Silver Eagle Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

15.50% alc., pH 3.67, TA 0.62, 50 cases, $60. Just north of Occidental in the Green Valley of Russian River Valley AVA. Calera selection. 70% whole cluster. Aged 14 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Super ripe fruit profile on the shy nose. Full-bodied essence of dark red cherries and berries with a prominent nutty note in the background. Balanced, modest tannins. Linear and rather closed today which could be related to the significant whole cluster. Need to spend more time with this wine. Good. Reviewed March 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Three Sticks Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.65, TA 0.70, 282 cases, $65. From 3 blocks, 667, 115 and 777. 15% whole cluster. Aged 14 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Very shy fruit on the dusty, earthy nose. Juicy plum and dark cherry middleweight flavors clothed in balanced tannins, offering a silky mouth feel and a good cut of acidity on the finish. Still young and needs more time to fully integrate the oak, but the potential is obvious. Very good. Reviewed March 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 Three Sticks Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.63, 253 cases. 10% whole cluster. Clones 667, 115 and 777. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy initially, opening with swirling to reveal aromas of spiced dark berries, herbs, and dark rose petals. Striking mid palate presence with a vanguard of black cherry fruit that really coats the mouth and hangs on for a memorable, long finish in which the fruit slips off the back of the palate like a silk sheet. Fine grain tannins add structure and oak is beautifully integrated. A lot to like. Very good (+). Reviewed March 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 Three Sticks Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.63, 253 cases, $60. Released March 20, 2012. A selection from the finest blocks in the vineyard and the best barrels in the cellar. Clones 667, 115 and 777. 10% whole cluster. Aged 15 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Ripe dark berry and plum aromas explode from the glass accented by the slightest note of herbs and spice. An “Oh my God!” nose. Delicious essence of fresh black raspberries, black currants and dark plums, accented with Middle Eastern spices and cola. Amazing mid palate presence, soft tannins, and a finish that would make Hollywood proud. Crafted for early accessibility and not a long term ager. You will need a cold shower after drinking this one. Reviewed April 4, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Three Sticks “The James” Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.6% alc.. 13-year-old vineyard planted to clones 113, 114, 115. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Interesting aromatic profile that includes dark cherry, oak, vanilla and savory herbs. Soft and easy to drink with supple tannins, featuring bright cherry flavor accented with oak. Good. Reviewed March 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2007 Three Sticks Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.7% alc.. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of macerated berries. Darker fruited with an underlying note of underbrush. Very smoothly texture with well proportioned richness. Coats the mouth and leaves a lasting impression. Very good. Reviewed April 8, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Three Sticks Durell Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.60, 375 cases. Clones 115 and 777. Clones 115 and 777. Aged 15 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of fresh black raspberries, black cherries and vanilla. Delicious mid weight core of dark berry fruits with a hint of anise-infused oak. Silky, with mild tannins and bright acidity, finishing with good fruit intensity, leaving a touch of heat in its wake. Very good. Reviewed March 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2007 Three Sticks Winery Durrell Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., pH 3.60, 375 cases, $55. The proprietor of Durell Vineyard selects the finest blocks from the 130 acres of Durell Vineyard he owns to produce this wine. Clones 115 and 777. Aged 15 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Alluring perfume of red fruits, grapes and roasted nuts. The discreetly concentrated sweet red berry core has an underpinning of earthiness and smoky oak. Soft and velvety on the palate, this charmer flaunts Pinot’s sensual side. A very Caliesque offering that will find many fans. Very good. Reviewed June 8, 2010 ARTICLE »