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.
Rattlesnake Acres, an old, head pruned vineyard northeast of Calistoga with a reputation for concentrated fruit again provided the base of Petite Sirah. Our estate vineyards north of St Helena provided Petit Verdot and Zinfandel. Noted for its well-drained alluvial soils, our family vineyard produces complex wines with well defined fruit flavors.
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 were fermented for 10 days, with punch-downs occurring twice daily. The free-run was transferred to French and American oak barrels, where it then aged for 20 months and was bottled without filtering. The Petite Sirah provides a base of spice and rich extract, the Petite Verdot adds structure and concentrated berry fruit, and the Zinfandel adds a note of lush briar.
Our sixth vintage of Lot 1 delivers layered aromas of dark loganberry and currant that flow easily into intricate tones of oak, maple-glazed pecan, cola and nutmeg. Sweet juicy center notes of blackberry conserve, zingy raspberry and rich Damson plum are edged by hints of baking cocoa and toasted hazelnut. The finish is long and gripping. Recommended aging time is five years from vintage, maximum suggested aging is seven to nine years from vintage. Decanting two to four hours in advance of consumption is strongly recommended, especially in the first six months after release. CAUTION: This wine will turn your teeth blue!
Vineyard Manager: Eric Titus
Winemaker: Phillip Titus
Appellation: Napa Valley
Blend: 70% Petite Sirah, 20% Petit Verdot, 5% Zinfandel
Harvest Dates: 10/15/03-10/25/03
Barrel Aging: 20 months, 50% new barrels, French and American oak
Bottled: June 2005
Cases Produced: 153
Total Acidity: .57 grams/100ml
Release Date: November 1, 2006
92 Points - Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate (December 2006)
“Revealing the most saturated ruby/purple color, the Titus 2003