2003 Titus Napa Valley Cabernet Franc
As a Library Selection, this wine is available exclusively to members of Titus Vineyards Wine Club.
The unpredictable nature of the 2003 growing season began with heat spikes in March followed by the wettest April on record. In August and September Titus grapes demonstrated early development of flavor, character and maturity, but attaining ripeness took a few additional weeks. A scattering of brief late rain showers encouraged vine vigor, resulting in an above-average sized crop. In September, unseasonably warm days alternated with cooler, overcast days, delaying harvest wrap-up until late October.
Our family vineyard is located on 40 acres of Napa Valley floor just north of St. Helena on the Silverado Trail. It has well-drained, sandy, alluvial soils and is characterized by its ability to produce complex wines with well-defined fruit flavors, gentle acids and naturally balanced tannins. The vines benefit from their very even east-west exposure resulting in even ripening each year.
The grapes were harvested in early October where they were promptly de-stemmed but not crushed, allowing increased control over tannin extraction by minimizing the possibility of broken skins and split seeds. After a 48-hour cold soak to extract color and flavor, the grapes were fermented for 10 days, with pump-overs occurring twice daily. The free-run was transferred to an equal number of new and two-year-old French oak barrels where it underwent malolactic fermentation, then barrel aging for 18 months.
Our 2003 Cabernet Franc reveals deep and beguiling aromas of raspberry pie, blue plums and warm spice tones. Well-integrated tannins balance upfront tastes of red berry compote, crushed blueberries, black tea and olive, creating a synthesis of fruit and herbal characters. A lengthy, understated finish of sweet cocoa and lightly toasted oak highlights the rich, round mouth feel.