Fresh off the Truck: 2018 Head High Pinot Noir [$20/btl before discounts]

Thursday, May 27, 2021

A new batch of wines from Wine Access arrived today, including this one. Let's get right into it...

This isn't an NDA wine, but the write-up gives us insight into where Head High figures into the California Pinot Noir landscape. And how Head High relates to Three Sticks as a second label.

I've never tasted Three Sticks Pinot Noir but they produce (and in many cases own) wine from top Sonoma vineyards like Gap's Crown, Durell, and Walala. These Three Sticks wines sell for $65-$90.

So here comes this second label with a street price around $20/btl before discounts.

It's not totally clear to me that the grape source for this wine includes Three Sticks' top vineyards. But Decanter did rate the wine 92 points. Wine Enthusiast wasn't as generous, rating it only 85 points while noting a Eucalyptus edge that I did not pick up on in my tasting.

Wine Spectator didn't rate the wine, though they rated Three Sticks 2018 Pinots between 91 and 94 points.

A CellarTracker community average of 90.7 is quite favorable for the price.

Free shipping on $120+

Dark in color for a Pinot, but varietally correct in weight.

Classic California Pinot Noir aromas of fresh cut strawberries and supporting dusty notes. The experience is consistent and appealing on entry. Very satisfying. Falls a little short on the finish but otherwise a very strong showing.

In short, it's exactly what I'd hope it would be: An affordable glimpse into high end Sonoma Pinot Noir.

90/100 WWP: Outstanding

This is a great wine for $20 before discounts. Stylistically, it's more aligned with $60+ California Pinot Noir than other $19.99-ish wines in the market.

See: Like Meiomi? Five other Pinot Noirs to try...


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