The 2010 vintage produced dark and concentrated wines despite the down production and cool summer. The season started with some late showers that affected flowering and caused some shatter in the grape clusters. The exceptionally cool and sometimes downright cold growing season had the most notable affect on the cooler growing areas of Napa Valley. Titus Vineyards benefited from the long, moderate growing season in our valley floor location. Our vineyard location is naturally warmer than others and the orientation of the vineyard had a surprising benefit during a late season heat spike. Many vineyards had aggressive canopy management at the time of this spike. Due to the long afternoon sun at Titus Vineyards aggressive leaf pulling has never been encouraged and saved the grapes on the vine from raisoning. Yields were 30% down from a ‘normal’ year but the fruit was dark and flavorful.
After many years of purchasing Petite Sirah from other growers to blend into our Zinfandel, we finally planted our own. 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 October and 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 one week, with pump-overs occurring twice daily. The free-run was transferred to new and two-year-old American oak barrels where it underwent malolactic fermentation, then barrel aging for 19 months.
Our 2010 Petite Sirah has such a deep, inky core that its legs stain the glass purple. Aromas of blueberry, boysenberry, black cherry candy and blackberry are accompanied by dark cacao, sweet tobacco wrapping leaf and black licorice Scotties. The palate is balanced, mouthfilling and intense. Flavors of pomegranate, red cherry, elephant heart plum, and dried strawberry are complimented by a long spicy finish. The tannins are fine grained and well integrated. Our Petite Sirah should be considered a gentle giant for this variety, exhibiting approachability and food friendliness. Recommended drinking time is three to four years from vintage, maximum suggested aging is ten years.
Vineyard Manager: Eric Titus
Winemaker: Phillip Titus
Appellation: Napa Valley
Blend: 96% Petite Sirah, 1% Merlot, 1% Petite Verdot, 1% Malbec, 1% Zinfandel
Harvest Dates: 10/13/09
Barrel Aging: 20 months 33% new barrels, 100% American oak
Cases Produced: 61
Total Acidity: .67 grams/100 ml
Release: October 2012