Vineyard & Winery News
In The Vineyard
As Autumn progresses into Winter a cold begins nip evyery morning in the vineyard. Rain seems to be coming in fits and starts and even spilled the Napa River into Titus Vineyards. The water was cordon deep in the Zinfandel at one point. The water has no affect on the vines this time of year as they are now dormant and have dropped all of their leaves. In between the rain the vineyards seem tobe at their most striking this time of year. Once the olives are all in for prodcuing olive oil there is not much to do at the vineyard besides collect wood for the fire being stoked at the Titus Vineyards Ranch House.
At The Winery
Phillip and Eric Titus are done with the final blends for some of the 2011 wines. Unfortunately, the production level will be very low for the 2011 vintage. The quality of what made it into final blends is high, there simply is not a lot of wine to bring to market. Some of the 2011's will be bottled in late Winter/early Spring along with the 2012 Sauvignon Blanc. Like a phoenix from the ashes everyone is very excited for the yields from 2012. Coming off four straight vintages of challenges and low yields, the 2012 wine that is now being put into barrel is not only superb but abundant. The winery is quieting down as tanks are being emptied and final presses coming to an end. Time will only tell if we have a right to be this excited.
The Wines of 2011
The Wines of 2010
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.
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.