In 2002, William S. Price III traded a flourishing business career for a life amidst the sun-drenched vineyards of Sonoma County, Calif. With the creation of Three Sticks Wines (an ode to his childhood moniker, which referenced the Roman numerals that follow his name), he sought to create high-caliber wines for connoisseurs in California and beyond. One of Three Sticks’ most recent successes is the 2013 Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir “The James” ($60), made with grapes gathered from three vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills—Burning Creek, La Rinconada, and Sanford & Benedict.
With this year’s addition of Bob Cabral as the label’s director of winemaking—a gifted artisan winemaker who previously spent 16 years as winemaker at Williams Selyem—the winery is poised to continue producing noteworthy vintages. Those looking for an idyllic experience in addition to an unforgettable wine may want to voyage to the Adobe, a historic adobe building built in 1842 that serves as the winery’s base of operations.
Redolent of cherries, cranberries, and huckleberries, this Pinot Noir strikes the perfect balance of sweetness and structure. The ripe Central Valley fruit contributes complexity and earthiness to the palate, and an acidic finish. The 2013 vintage will pair well with fatty meats, such as salmon and beef short ribs. (threestickswines.com)