Reviewing Pinot Noirs from Three Sticks with Steve Roebuck

The last time I remember tasting Three Sticks Pinot Noir from Sonoma was during a Pinot Days event in West Los Angeles, and I believe that was well over a decade ago. So many Pinots, so little time! Fast forward to now, and recently being offered two of their 2021 Pinots for review, one from the Monopole Vineyards, One Sky and the other from Gap’s Crown.

In looking over the technical sheets provided for each wine, there were very little differences, primarily the locations. The only other difference of note is the separate Vineyard Collections: One Sky is in the Monopole Collection and Gap’s Pinnacle is in their Heritage Collection.

Below are tasting notes for each wine. The first is from the winery, the second is from fellow blogger Steve Roebuck, in italics. (Steve and his wife Vashti have also visited the Three Sticks.) Finally, I have additional notes provided by the winery.

The Wines (Roebuck’s notes are in italics)

2021 One Sky Vineyard Pinot Noir (SRP $85)

The first vintage of pinot noir from one of Three Sticks’ prized Monopole Vineyards, One Sky, nestled in the serene Sonoma Mountain AVA, is a testament to the distinctive terroir and dedication to artisanship. Monopole Vineyards were carefully selected for their exceptional soil, terroir, and ideal location. Small-scale and organic, One Sky was established exclusively for Three Sticks, ensuring the precise fruit needed to craft its exceptional wines. Unveiling a classic One Sky nose with earth and spice nuances, the palate is greeted with elegant tannins, shining light on this site’s subtle meatiness that provides structure and age-ability. 

The wine had a robust bouquet of cranberries, black raspberries, rhubarb, cherry pie crust, dried forest leaves, baking spices, chocolate, tilled earth, and orange blossoms. It had medium ++ in body with rounded tannins that gripped the palate with hints of cherries, cranberries, blood orange, baking spices, dried leaves, dusty forest floor, and other terroir notes. The wine is complex with savory layers of fruit and earth that harmonize beautifully together and are balanced with a nice level of acidity. It should evolve nicely over the next few years for those with the patience to cellar it. – Steve Roebuck. (From Eve: I also agreed that this one could be cellared a bit.)

2021 Gap’s Pinnacle Pinot Noir, Gap’s Crown Vineyard (SRP $95)

From one of Three Sticks’ revered Heritage Vineyards, Gap’s Pinnacle Pinot Noir is a selection of the very best barrels from the very best blocks, capturing the essence of its exceptional terroir. A harmonious expression of black and blue fruits, showcasing the richness derived from prime vineyard blocks, its texture is both structured and balanced with acidity, ensuring bright characteristics as they play on the palate. Offering a more concentrated iteration than the classic Gap’s Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir, The Gap’s Pinnacle is poised for impeccable aging.

The wine had a refined bouquet of cranberries, cherries, pomegranates, salted caramel, floral notes of jasmine flowers, citrus, and forest floor. It was medium-bodied with rounded tannins that painted the palate with hints of cherries, pomegranates, cranberries, herbs, soft spice, brine, and earthy terroir notes. The wine was elegantly complex with smooth velvety layers of fruit and earth. There was a bright level of acidity that cut through the savory layers and brought balance. The wine was beautifully structured and is approachable now, but I recommend cellaring it for 5 to 8 years. – Steve Roebuck. (From Eve: we both liked this one best, and while Steve is cellaring it, I’m drinking it.)

From Three Sticks

Spring is in the air at Three Sticks, the boutique, family-owned Sonoma-based winery known for its estate-grown small-lot pinot noir and chardonnay wines. As flowers bloom throughout Sonoma County, a wet winter has left its mark with vibrant green growth throughout each of its six legacy-rich Sonoma vineyards. Newness and anticipation abound with the launch of three new estate wines-–the first One Sky Vineyard designated pinot noir and two outstanding wines of the inaugural Three Sticks Icon and Pinnacle Collections. 

With this spring release, Three Sticks continues to share the results of its dream turned reality of taking its wines 100% estate. Co-founded in 2002 by Bill Price and Prema Kerollis, Three Sticks owns and farms six grand cru level estate vineyards in Sonoma County–three Monopole Vineyards and three Heritage Vineyards. Monopole Vineyards are meticulously farmed sites selected for Three Sticks from the beginning and chosen for their soil, terroir, and location to cultivate the perfect fruit for its wines. Heritage Vineyards are those storied sites that have become iconic vineyards in California, showcasing their legacy with greatness vintage after vintage. Here’s to the new landscape of Three Sticks’ Spring Firsts!

Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in the first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Proof Awards, Cellarmasters, LA Wine Competition, Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email to ask a question about wine or spirits.