Vineyard & Winery News
In the Vineyard
Cluster count is high in the vineyard. The grapes are looking healthy and juicy at Titus Vineyards. Harvest will be slightly early but nothing too far out of the norm. Sauvignon Blanc kicks off harvest for us at the end of August. There is a new block of Cabernet Franc planted by the historic wind tower. This Cabernet Franc is planted with the rows facing East to West instead of North to South, a first at Titus Vineyards.
At the Winery
2011 wines have all been bottled and are now resting through a period of bottle shock. Despite a funky growing year in Napa Valley, the microclimate of the Titus Vineyards estate location allowed better ripening than most. The wines are proving to be extremely flavorful but lack in huge tannin structures. This all makes the wines of 2011 quite quaffable. As harvest gets under way, we prepare to not see or hear from Phillip Titus for a couple of months.
The Wines of 2011
The 2011 growing season was cool from the onset. As a result of the challenging weather, flowering and fruit set promised a below average yield. The upper valley floor location of Titus Vineyards benefitted from longer growing degree days and better wind flow. The summer never heated up to any extremes but did offer opportunities to ripen the fruit with proper canopy management. Cooling trends towards harvest time created a perfect storm for moisture in Napa Valley and while creating possible botrytis issues for our neighbors, the Titus estate persevered with ever-present drying winds. While the quantity is dramatically down in 2011 the quality has proven to be high
The Wines of 2010
The Wines of 2009
The 2009 vintage produced bold, juicy wines despite the down production. The season started with a snapping frost season and weather conditions that were not ideal for pollination causing shatter to occur in many of the clusters around the valley. Titus Vineyards benefited from the long, moderate growing season in our valley floor location. With no true heat spikes to further along the harvest markers many were caught by the rain while waiting for sugars to rise. Here at Titus Vineyards, our last day of harvest was the exact day before the first rain. Yields were 30% down from a ‘normal’ year but the fruit was dark and flavorful.
The Wines of 2008
The memorable 2008 growing season began on the heels of a long, dry winter. At bud break the Napa Valley was ravaged by the coldest and longest frost season since 1972. While many hillside vineyards fell victim to frost damage, Titus Vineyards was not heavily impacted but we still needed to fire up our wind machines on a few nights. The unseasonable lows changed almost overnight into unseasonably hot weather that was accompanied by gusty winds during fruit set. The vines were already challenged by drought conditions and record cold, and this continual odd spring weather pattern caused the fruit to not set as evenly as it would under normal growing conditions. Add to this the summer fire season that resulted in several local wild fires making it a smoky, hazy July. Remarkably, harvest developed on a normal schedule running from August 22nd through October 16th. What ultimately manifested at the end of the topsy-turvy weather was an overall fruit yield reduction of nearly 50%. However, the quality of the fruit harvested was extremely high and will result in wines of great depth and concentration.
The Wines of 2007
Our 2007 grape crop exhibited many high quality wine indicators as a result of the year's lower rainfall, early bloom, timely veraison and moderate temperatures. The limited amount of vine stress due to low rainfall over the winter and a solid, warm summer without a lot of heat spikes fostered even grape ripening. The cluster shapes and berry sizes looked ideal. The crop was smaller, with lighter clusters, smaller berries, and thicker skins lending a tannic bite that will yield wines with exceptional structure and age-worthiness. There was an ideal mix of well ripened and just-right berries with very little variation. We expected a short, furious harvest; however, it ended up being one of the longer ones starting September 14th, 2007, and ending on October 15th, 2007.
The Wines of 2006
Overall, the 2006 growing season was long and steady with the exception of a cool spring with late rains, approximately 2 times normal rainfall for this time of year, and a heat spike in July. This climate generated above average yields for the year. All the grapes were harvested in alignment with our predictions avoiding everything coming in at once. Interestingly, harvest at Titus Vineyards began ten days later than we would typically end allowing the grapes to benefit from the extended hang time resulting in optimum ripeness without the threat of bad weather. The lengthy and mild 2006 growing season gifted these wines with good color lively aromatics, well balanced flavor profiles with beautiful concentration, and solid structure that will benefit the wines long term.
The Wines of 2005
The 2005 growing season got off to a slow, late start with a cool spring and late rains that stretched into June. The long summer brought moderate heat that remained into October. The sizable crop showed higher numbers of berries per cluster, and slightly lower sugar levels. Eric and Phillip did a tremendous amount of fruit thinning leading up to harvest which was the smart thing to do to keep the vines balanced through grape maturation with the goal of maximizing the flavor components in a cool, long vintage. Judicious thinning continued from late July through the first week of September. Due to the mild weather and large crop, harvest was about two weeks late and gradual, with picking stretching out over several weeks. The lengthy 2005 growing season gifted these elegant wines with lively aromatics along with a beautiful balance of concentration and texture.