Three Sticks, Head High Pinot Noir, Sonoma County, California, 2018
Overview of the Wine
Three Sticks Wines is a boutique, family-owned winery founded by Bill Price (William S. Price III). Founded in 2002, the winery is named for Bill’s surfing nickname, “Billy Three Sticks,” which was assigned to him in his youth as a reference to the three Roman numerals that follow his name. As a long-time fan and collector of wines from the Durell Vineyard, Price purchased the property from Ed Durell in 1998, and launched Three Sticks a few years later. In 2004, Don Van Staaveren, the winemaker believed by many to be responsible for putting Chateau St. Jean, and Sonoma wines in the critical limelight throughout the 1990s, joined the team.
Three Sticks now produces approximately 4000 cases of small-lot wine from premium vineyard sources in Sonoma. The winery is housed in an industrial area near downtown Sonoma, among a cluster of other artisan wine producers known as the Eighth Street Wineries. In keeping with Van Staaveren’s “no crush” policy, every lot of grapes to come in is treated with utmost care and minimal handling. Van Staaveren insists on keeping every vineyard block separate from the others from the moment they are picked on through fermentation, barrel aging and final blending. Price is the proprietor of Classic Wines, LLC and Price Family Vineyards, LLC—including ownership and management of Sonoma Coast vineyards including Durell, 111 Wilson Vineyard, DuPont Vineyard, One Sky Vineyard and Gap’s Crown Vineyard. Classic Wines also has ownership interests in Kistler Vineyards, Buccella, Three Sticks and LUTUM. Price is also chairman of Kosta Browne Winery and Gary Farrell Winery.
Head High Wines is rooted in Sonoma County. With a focus on grapes over juice, our goal is to craft a pinot noir of distinction at an attainable price point. Exceptional pinot noir should be available to everyone. Now, it is.
Head High Wines' roots originate on California's North Coast, where their grapes are grown and their passion for surfing and wine thrive. Their vibrant, flavorful wines encourage exploration of life's pleasures and make a tangible impact on the world. Head High Wines' ambassadors work to promote environmental awareness and inspire outdoor adventure. Their free-spirited, hardworking winegrowers are dedicated to creating fine wines that matter through vineyard stewardship and sustainable practices. They believe wine can not only deliver joy but can enrich and foster community. Their wines not only please the palate, they inspire the mind and rejuvenate the body. Their wines foster community, enrich the environment, and deliver balance and vitality.
"2018 was one of those magical years. With a mild spring, the early growing season plodded along at a relatively normal pace. Once the berries set, we knew we had a healthy, full crop. So full, in fact, we did a few fruit-thinning passes to reduce the load on the vines. Even with this, we were happy to see an above average harvest with superb quality. We started picking in earnest after Labor Day with cool, fall weather that allowed us to transfer the grapes at a calm and measured pace. All in all, 2018 will go down as a year to remember, creating wine of true depth and power."
Grape / Blend
Sonoma County, California
Head High acts as the second label for Three Sticks and it has some phenomenal fruit sources including Durell, Wildcat and Sangiocomo Family vineyards. It spends 10 months in 25% new French oak barrels. Shows classic Sonoma Coast floral and cherry notes, elegant and supple on the palate with a little zing of acidity complementing the ripe cherry and earth notes in a full but balanced style. Fabulous value and delicious.