Halleck Vineyard Three Sons Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Awarded Top Honor at 2023 Sommelier Challenge

Halleck Vineyard Three Sons Russian River Pinot Noir wins Best of Class at 2023 Sommelier Challenge.
Halleck Vineyard Three Sons Russian River Pinot Noir wins Best of Class at 2023 Sommelier Challenge.

Halleck Vineyard, a Sonoma County winery renowned for its artisanal approach, is basking in the glory of its 2019 Halleck Vineyard Three Sons Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, which clinched the prestigious Best Pinot Noir Award at the 2023 Sommelier Challenge International Wine & Spirits Competition. Only 198 cases remain of their extraordinary vintage, available online only.

This exquisite Sonoma County Pinot Noir earned a remarkable 96-point score and secured the much-coveted Best Pinot Noir title amidst fierce competition from over 900 wines.

Exemplary Record of Excellence

This marks the seventh Best of Class Award for Halleck Vineyard wines. Prior accolades include:

  1. Best of Class  – 2014 Farm Russian River Valley Pinot Noir in the $67 and over category (top price point) at the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 
  2. Best of Class – 2016 Clone 828 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir on the $60-$69.99 category (2nd highest price point) at the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 
  3. Best of the Best, Best White Wine – 2018 Little Sister Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc at the 2019 Sunset International Wine Competition
  4. Best White Wine in California – 2018 Little Sister Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc by the 2019 Orange County Wine Society
  5. Best White Wine in California – 2018 Russian River Valley Gewurztraminer at the 2019 California State Fair
  6. Best of Class – 2001 Sonoma Coast Estate Grown Pinot Noir at the 2003 Pinot Noir Shoot Out

Craftsmanship in Every Bottle

The acclaimed 2019 Halleck Vineyard Three Sons Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is a testament to meticulous craftsmanship, with just 675 cases produced and only 198 cases remaining. This cool-climate red wine embodies the artistry and dedication of Halleck Vineyard’s winemaking team.

Distinguished by its exclusivity, the 2019 Halleck Vineyard Three Sons Pinot Noir is not available in retail stores. Members of the Halleck Vineyard Inner Circle Wine Club enjoy the privilege of acquiring allocations of this premium Pinot Noir.

Exceptional Tasting Experience

For wine enthusiasts seeking an exceptional tasting experience, a visit to Halleck Vineyard Estate Winery in Sebastopol is a must. Here, guests can savor the distinctive flavors of this remarkable varietal during a Wine Tasting Salon event. Wine tastings are available by appointment on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with seatings at 11 am and 3 pm.

Wine that Travels

Moreover, the 2019 Halleck Vineyard Three Sons Russian River Valley Pinot Noir can be savored at exclusive private clubs nationwide and acclaimed Michelin Star restaurants in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. It is available for purchase at the online Halleck Vineyard Sonoma Wine Shop.

Tasting Notes: A Journey of Flavors

This Pinot Noir captivates with its stunning garnet color and brilliant luster. It beckons with aromas of vibrant red cherries and dry leaves, leading to subtle hints of white pepper and clove. The palate offers a captivating journey, with a clear start, a lush midsection boasting bright red fruit and underbrush notes, and a delightful finish with traces of baking spice, clove, cinnamon, and black pepper.

The Art of Winemaking

The grapes for this exceptional Pinot Noir were harvested before dawn, meticulously hand-sorted, and gently de-stemmed. A cold soak of five days preceded whole berry fermentation with bi-daily punch-downs. Fermentation took place in an open-top five-ton tank over 12-16 days, followed by aging in carefully selected French Oak barrels. The barrel program featured 30% new French Oak, 30% one-year-old French Oak, and 40% older barrels. The wine matured in barrels for ten months, with a single racking at five months during blending.

Wine Specifications

  • Appellation: Russian River Valley
  • Harvest Date: September 2019
  • Acid: 6.19 g/L
  • pH: 3.67
  • Bottling Date: August 2020
  • Residual Sugar: 1.19 g/L
  • Alcohol: 14.3%

2023 Sommelier Judges

A distinguished panel of sommeliers presided over the judging process:

  1. Chief Wine & Spirits Judge: Jesse Rodriguez, National Director of Sales, FUTO Estate, Big Sky, Montana
  2. Sommelier Judge: Dana Farner, Winery and Import Consultant, Storica, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  3. Sommelier Judge: Nicholas George, GM & Wine Director, La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club, San Diego, California
  4. Sommelier Judge: Nick Burns, Manager & Sommelier, Tango Room, Dallas, Texas
  5. Sommelier Judge: Lisa Redwine, GM & Wine Buyer, Market Restaurant + Bar, San Diego, California
  6. Sommelier Judge: Zack Musick, Director of Education, The German Wine Collection, Orange County, California
  7. Sommelier Judge: Meghan Vergara, Proprietor, M Rose, Napa, California
  8. Sommelier Judge: Adam Jesberger, Lead Sommelier at Rancho Guejito Vineyards, San Diego, California
  9. Sommelier Judge: Jessica Solomon, Head Sommelier, Born & Raised, San Diego, California
  10. Sommelier Judge: Rachael Aresco, Sommelier, Bob’s Steak & Chop House, Carlsbad, California

About Sommelier Challenge International Wine & Spirits Competition

The Sommelier Challenge International Wine & Spirits Competition is a prestigious event in the world of wine and spirits, known for its rigorous judging process conducted by leading professionals in the industry. The competition recognizes and celebrates excellence in winemaking and spirits production, making it a sought-after platform for producers and vintners to showcase their exceptional offerings.

Eric Schwartzman

Eric Schwartzman

Eric Schwartzman is president of wine marketing agency Schwartzman & Associates and editor of the Sonoma Wine Tasting Blog. He is a twice best selling author and has written for Fast Company, Tech Crunch, Wine-Searcher, the Sonoma County Gazette, the Healdsburg Tribune, the Marin Pacific Sun and many others. He is also a twice published nonfiction author and served as special digital communications advisor to the US Dept of State in the run up to COP 21 - the Paris Climate Agreement.

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