The 2005 growing season got off to a slower, later start with a cool spring and late rains stretching into June. The long summer brought moderate heat that stretched into October. The sizeable crop showed higher numbers of berries per cluster, and slightly lower sugar levels. Due to the mild weather and large crop, harvest was later – by about two weeks – and gradual, with picking stretching out over several weeks. The lengthy 2005 growing season gifted these elegant wines with lively aromatics and a beautiful balance of concentration and texture.
Titus Vineyards Napa Valley Zinfandel is produced from grapes grown in our family 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 30% new and 70% 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.
On the nose, our lively 2005 Napa Valley Zinfandel delivers bright scents of mouthwatering raspberry candy and spiced black cherry juice leading to exotic tones of cracked pepper, dry mustard and crushed cardamom. On the palate, notice splashes of fresh, mouth-coating raspberry juice and hints of blackberry jam. Secondary characters of vanilla tinged American oak spice, toffee, chocolate and a trace of turmeric balance the fruit while adding complexity. Recommended drinking time is three to five years from vintage with a maximum suggested aging time of eight to ten years from vintage. Decant for at least sixty minutes.
Vineyard Manager: Eric Titus
Wine Maker: Phillip Titus
Appellation: Napa Valley
Blend: 80% Zinfandel, 20% Petite Sirah
Harvest Date: October 5, 2005
Barrel Aging: 16 months - 100% American Oak (30% new barrels)
Bottled: April 2007
Cases Produced: 1,925
Total Acidity: .62 g/100ml
Release Date: May 2007
SILVER MEDAL - BEST OF APPELLATION AWARDS for St. Helena, Napa Valley AVA(Appellation America - May, 2008)
The best wines are defined by place, and the character of each appellation is defined by its best wines. The Best-of-Appellation evaluation program is an on-going process of identifying the wines in each appellation which best express the character of the appellation and the quality of wine craftsmanship in the region. Appellation America salutes these producers, not only for their individual achievement, but for their contribution to building the identity and reputation of fine winegrowing appellations, such as St. Helena.
88 Points - Enobytes
Well-integrated layers especially for a Zinfandel, the 2005 Titus Zin is a great exhibit of what you can accomplish when you let the fruit speak for itself. There is no roto-oxygenation in the fermentation tanks going on here nor did we detect any reverse osmosis. Straightforward wine making techniques and quality fruit lead to a simple wine making equation; achieving great results and Titus is doing just that, "making great wines". I was discussing a while back with some friends after reviewing a different Zinfandel how my tastes had obviously changed because I used to just love a big Zin and now my enjoyment had waned. I was wrong; I was not drinking the right Zins. This wine is everything I remember that I used to like about zinfandel - big, fruity and spicy. It's a wine that will stand up to certain types of cuisines like no other varietal. Competitors will struggle to surpass the quality this winery produces. A quality operation that exudes consistency and quality places this winery at the top of the list of wines to buy and wineries to visit. (March 2008)
"Here's a robust, even exuberant zinfandel, aged completely in American oak, that manages to be beautifully balanced and integrated. The bouquet features blackberry and black currant, briers and brambles with a whiff of crushed black pepper and a touch of syrah-like wet dog. In the mouth, it's warm, ripe and roasted, building layers of smoke, lavender and licorice as the core for delicious black fruit flavors woven with vanilla, dried spice and some of the austerity of American oak. Delicious now with big red meat dishes, or just a grilled ribeye steak with peppercorn sauce, or drink from 2008 through 2011 or '12." - Fredric Koeppel, KoeppelOnWine (December 2007)