2008 Titus Napa Valley Cabernet Franc
The memorable 2008 growing season began on the heels of a long, dry winter. At bud break the Napa Valley was ravaged by the coldest and longest frost season since 1972. While many hillside vineyards fell victim to frost damage, Titus Vineyards was not heavily impacted but we still needed to fire up our wind machines on a few nights. The unseasonable lows changed almost overnight into unseasonably hot weather that was accompanied by gusty winds during fruit set. The vines were already challenged by drought conditions and record cold, and this continual odd spring weather pattern caused the fruit to not set as evenly as it would under normal growing conditions. Add to this the summer fire season that resulted in several local wild fires making it a smoky, hazy July. Remarkably, harvest developed on a normal schedule running from August 22nd through October 16th. What ultimately manifested at the end of the topsy-turvy weather was an overall fruit yield reduction of nearly 50%. However, the quality of the fruit harvested was extremely high and will result in wines of great depth and concentration
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 late October where they were promptly de-stemmed but not crushed, which allowed for increased control over tannin extraction by minimizing the possibility of broken skins and split seeds. After a 48-hour cold soak to extract optimum color and flavor, the grapes were fermented for ten days with pump-overs occurring twice daily. The free-run juice was then transferred to new and two-year-old French oak barrels where it underwent malolactic fermentation, followed by twenty months of barrel aging.
Our 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Franc has an intensely deep ruby color. The nose is alluring and complex with aromas of blueberry, violets, sweet basil leaf, cotton candy, and oak spice. Well integrated, fine grain tannins give way to lush, mouthwatering flavors of boysenberry and sweet cherry wrapped in tobacco leaf, dark cocoa and black tea. The finish is everlasting with sweet oak spice, bright red fruits, toffee, and anise. Recommended drinking time is three to four years from vintage. Maximum suggested aging is nine years from vintage.
Detailed Wine Information
Vineyard Manager: Eric Titus
Winemaker: Phillip Titus
Appellation: Napa Valley
Blend: 77% Cabernet Franc, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Merlot, 2% Malbec, 1%Petite Verdot
Harvest Date: 10/08
Barrel Aging: 20 months - 40% new barrels,100% French oak
Bottled: July 2010
Cases Produced: 456
Total Acidity: .62 grams/100 ml
Release: October 2010