As a Library Selection, this wine is available exclusively to members of Titus Vineyards Wine Club.
Demonstrating many similarities to the 1997 vintage, the 2004 growing season began with normal rainfall followed by an early, pleasantly warm Spring marked by timely budbreak and bloom. The first signs of veraison appeared several weeks ahead of schedule in the first few days of July. Cooler summer temperatures allowed for steady, even ripening of the moderately sized crop. A few days of hot, windy weather in August lent a final touch of richness and concentration to the fruit.
Titus Vineyards Napa Valley Zinfandel is produced from grapes grown in our family vineyard on Silverado Trail just north of St. Helena. The vines are over 25 years old and are grown without irrigation or "dry-farmed," an old world winegrowing practice, to produce 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 was transferred to American oak barrels, where it underwent malolactic fermentation. Petite Sirah was fermented and barrel aged separately, and blended into the Zinfandel prior to bottling.
The aromas of our 2004 Napa Valley Zinfandel are bright and intense with notes of sugared rhubarb, red raspberry, cranberry preserves, coffee, and the barest traces of both chocolate and mineral. The rich flavors suggest dark cherry and black raspberry preserves wrapped around touches of pepper, bramble, smoked meat and American oak spice. This is a full bodied wine with a lengthy finish that will continue to evolve in bottle.
Vineyard Manager: Eric Titus
Wine Maker: Phillip Titus
Appellation: Napa Valley
Blend: 85% Zinfandel, 15% Petite Sirah
Harvest Date: September 4, 2004
Barrel Aging: 11 months - 100% American Oak (40% new barrels)
Bottled: March 2006
Cases Produced: 1,673
Total Acidity: .58g/100ml
Release Date: May 2006
SILVER MEDAL - SFBJ American Fine Wine Competition - October 2007
90 Points - The Connoisseurs' Guide
Appellation America Wine Recommendation - Jan 20, 2007
This is one of the good bargain reds from the Napa Valley that come along all too infrequently. There are toasty, smoky and tar aromas no doubt from the American oak, while on the palate, Phillip Titus has made a wine of substance and excellence. He’s done it too, in a restrained manner with balance and minerality showing off the 10-acre vineyard on the Silverado Trail on the banks of the Napa River north of St. Helena. Everything’s in place here for a wine that will age for 15 years, but I recommend holding it for a year or two for maximum enjoyment.
The Zinfandel was originally planted in the 1970's. One part of the vineyard is in a former hayfield in deep river loam soil; the other is on a stony volcanic knoll rising out of the valley floor not far from river. The vines are dry-farmed, which again allows the terroir of the site to come through.
The Zin was de-stemmed but not crushed, allowing increased control over tannin extraction by minimizing the possibility of broken skins and split seeds. The Petite Sirah component of this wine was fermented and barrel-aged separately, and blended prior to bottling. The listed alcohol is 14.5 percent and there were only 1,673 cases produced.
One quibble: I wish the Titus family would have put the St. Helena appellation on the label, along with the Napa Valley designation, because that is more specific to where the grapes were grown.
Reviewed January 20, 2007 by Alan Goldfarb.