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WineSpeed | Three Sticks

Weekly insights from veteran wine writer Karen MacNeil.

THREE STICKS |  “Gap’s Crown Vineyard” Pinot Noir 2015

(Sonoma Coast, California) $65

The cold mountain ridges above the Sonoma Coast are foreboding and rugged, but the best pinot noirs that are born there are just the opposite: enticing and supple. Like this gorgeous pinot from Three Sticks’ Gap’s Crown Vineyard. Vivid, precise, and fresh, it smells of the cool ocean air that wafts in over the vines. Many pinots exude silkiness as this one does, but silkiness plus a certain graceful richness is a combination that’s irresistible. The Sonoma Coast has become ground zero for world class pinot … as this must-taste wine attests. (14.4% abv)

94 points KM

Available at Vivino.com

More Wines to Know…

Which one of the following was not one of the original First Growths in the 1855 Classification of Bordeaux, France?

A.  Château Margaux
B.  Château Mouton-Rothschild
C.  Château Lafitte-Rothschild
D.  Château Haut-Brion
E.  Château Latour

Here’s the answer…

Steals under $20

NINE HATS Riesling 2016 (Columbia Valley, Washington) $14
Simple, juicy and fresh with a light touch of lemony minerality.  
86 points KM

PINE RIDGE VINEYARDS Chenin Blanc Viognier 2017 (California) $16
Juicy, fresh, aromatic, and wildly fun to drink, this wine is super lively and delicious (and just 12.5% abv). Fantastic with spicy dishes. 
89++ points KM

SMITH DEVEREUX “3” California Red Blend 2016 (California) $17
A really tasty, juicy, soft, red party (crowd pleaser) wine for Fall.  
87+ points KM

CAST “Grey Palm Vineyard” Zinfandel 2015 (Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, California) $20
Sometimes zin can be just too ferocious. Not this one. Juicy, fruity, with great classic brambly flavors.  
88+ points KM

Sparkling brachetto can be made in any region of northern Italy from brachetto grapes.

Answer: False. Sparkling brachetto is made from the brachetto grapes but only in the northwestern Italian region of Acqui in Piedmont—hence it’s full name, brachetto d’Acqui. This wine is frizzante (“lightly sparkling”), low in alcohol, fresh, and loaded with sweet raspberry and black cherry flavors. Of course, legend has it that both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony presented gourds of sparkling brachetto to Cleopatra, as the wine was thought to be an aphrodisiac (part of this story is hard to fact-check). Regardless, this ruby-red sparkler, with its intense floral and fruity notes, is fun to drink, and in the fall, it’s great with charcuterie.

Diurnal Temperature Fluctuation

The difference in temperature from the coolest point in the morning to the warmest point in the afternoon. A large difference between these two temperatures is ideal for wine growing regions as it allows the sugars to ripen during the heat of the day while the natural acids are preserved thanks to  Continue Reading…


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