Friday, June 18, 2010

Three Sticks Wines TasteLive Event June 17

Imagine my excitement having the opportunity for the first time to participate in a tastelive event featuring Three Sticks Wines in Sonoma California. Once chosen, I visited the Three Sticks website to learn more about the winery, winemakers and the wines produced. What an awesome chance to taste wines produced by Head Winemaker Don Van Staaveren who for over 30 years has been creating award winning wine. His 1996 Chateau St Jean Cinq Cepages named Wine Spectators No 1 Wine in the World 1999. I'll admit goosebumps. Tracey Bledsoe Assistant Winemaker has 8 years experience recently with Artesa Winery producing world class Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Kudos as well to Vineyard Manager Steve Hill and Durell Vineyards Owner and Founder of Three Sticks Bill Price. Picture a kid opening up a christmas present thrilled to death and that would have been me when the wines arrived for the event.

Participating with my fellow tasters from across the country and even my wine friend Grace in DesMoines Cellarmistress, the excitement built as we all logged on. Winemakers and winery staff were online to particpate in the tasting offering advice on the wines as well as answering question about the winery and the wines produced. How cool is that!

First up the 2006 Three Sticks Pinot Noir Durell Vineyards. I decided to taste this wine with a hand tossed sausage pizza on the advice of Don. The aroma of this wine was an excellent ripe cherry and and perfect balance of spice. Wonderful color. I could smell this wine all day. My comments along with other tasters were a big thumbs up on this first offering. I love the juicy cherry/spice combination and the finish is long but silky smooth. Amazing fruit flavor on the front of the wine. Perfect Pinot Noir!

Second wine of the evening was the 2007 Three Sticks Pinot Noir Durell Vineyards. Different than the 06 this Pinot on the nose exhibited dark fruit. First aroma was the dark cherry followed closely by the black raspberry. Wonderful spice finished off the wine. My first taste as I anticipated with the aromas was a more full bodied Pinot Noir. Definate rich flavor from the dark cherry, black raspberry and spice but when I reached the finish is was so smooth just like the 06. I commented about buying a bottle of the 07 and drinking it one year from now to see how the wine may change which I love to compare. Both wines the flavors marry together and a seamless transition flavor to flavor. At this point I am blown away at the quality of these wines. We were enjoying the Pinot's so much we lost track of time and up next the Cabernet.

Last wine of the evening was the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Valley. I opened this wine well before the tasting to allow it to breathe. Excellent nose on this wine as well. Huge red berry aroma with raspberry coming to the front. Spice and a hint of earth rounded out my aromas. The flavor combination on this wine is perfect. I believe my comment "This is liquid heaven" describes this wine. The black cherry/chocolate combination (and I also had a piece of chocolate with my wine) along with a hint of oak was harmony in the mouth. Unlike many Cabernets I have tasted, the finish was so soft for a wine with huge fruit at the front. 

I asked a couple of my friends to taste the 07 Pinot and the 05 Cabernet to see what they thought of the wine without any of my comments( call me selfish but the 06 I drank all by myself). As anticipated they had the same thoughts with respect to aromas and flavors as I tasted and smelled. Once I told them these were the wines I tasted for the event all suggested Three Sticks Wines were excellent choices to drink. Couldn't agree more with their thoughts except amazing would be my description.

Thank you TasteLive and Three Sticks Wines for allowing me an opportunity to be introduced to wonderful wines. Bill, Don, Tracey and Steve along with all the staff at Three Sticks thank you for producing some of the best wine I have ever tasted. I loved being able to bounce questions off you all during the event and just tell you how much I enjoyed the wines. You have a new fan here in Iowa.

Dan "The Iowa Wino"

1 comment:

cellarmistress said...

That was such a nice event! I really enjoyed it and was so happy for you that you got to be a part of it! Fantastic wines!