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The 2010 vintage produced dark and concentrated wines despite the down production and cool summer. The season started with some late showers that affected flowering and caused some shatter in the grape clusters. The exceptionally cool and sometimes downright cold growing season had the most notable affect on the cooler growing areas of Napa Valley. Titus Vineyards benefited from the long, moderate growing season in our valley floor location. Our vineyard location is naturally warmer than others and the orientation of the vineyard had a surprising benefit during a late season heat spike. Many vineyards had aggressive canopy management at the time of this spike. Due to the long afternoon sun at Titus Vineyards aggressive leaf pulling has never been encouraged and saved the grapes on the vine from raisoning. Yields were 30% down from a ‘normal’ year but the fruit was dark and flavorful.
Titus Vineyards Napa Valley Zinfandel is produced from grapes grown on our family’s valley floor vineyard on Silverado Trail just north of St. Helena. The 30+ year-old vines are planted on St. George rootstock and grown without irrigation or “dry-farmed.” This old-world winegrowing practice produces low yields of concentrated fruit.
Following harvest, the grapes were de-stemmed but not crushed, allowing increased control over tannin extraction by minimizing the possibility of broken skins and split seeds. Following a 48-hour cold soak to extract color and flavor, the grapes underwent a warm fermentation, with pump-overs occurring twice daily, and were pressed shortly after dryness was achieved. The free-run wine was transferred to 15% new and 85% two year old American oak barrels, where it underwent malolactic fermentation. Petite Sirah was fermented and barrel aged separately, and blended into the Zinfandel prior to bottling.
The nose is dark and brooding with notes of briary fruit and cherry all wrapped in dried basil, cardamom, black pepper, and anise. The aromas translate through to the palate with the addition of acai, blackberry, boysenberry, strawberry, burnt raw sugar, and toasty oak notes. The mouthfeel is full bodied with bright acid though all components are well balanced and extremely well integrated. This Zin’s long, spicy finish is enhanced by strawberry and soft oak spice and toast. Recommended drinking time is three to five years from vintage with a maximum suggested aging time of eight to ten years from vintage. We also recommend decanting this wine for about an hour prior to drinking.
Vineyard Manager: Eric Titus
Winemaker: Phillip Titus
Appellation: Napa Valley
Blend: 95% Zinfandel 5% Petite Sirah
Cases Produced: 1,058
Harvest Date: October 2010
Release: May 2012
Barrel Aging: 14 months 100% American oak 25% new
Bottled: March 2012
Total Acidity: .65 g/100 ml