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.
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.
Ripe aromas of spicy, briary dark fruit are wrapped in molé spice, cardamom, and milk chocolate shavings on the nose and translate through to the palate with the addition of black cherry, blackberry, boysenberry, sweet plum, white and black pepper, anise, and burnt raw sugar. The mouthfeel is full bodied and lush and offers hints of sweetness on the palate along with a dusty cocoa quality. This Zin’s long, spicy finish is enhanced by black cherry, licorice, 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: 94% Zinfandel 6% Petite Sirah
Cases Produced: 1,434
Harvest Date: September 2009
Release: March 2011
Barrel Aging: 16 months 100% American oak 20% new
Bottled: February 2011
Total Acidity: .58 g/100 ml