The 2011 growing season was cool from the onset. As a result of the challenging weather, flowering and fruit set promised a below average yield. The upper valley floor location of Titus Vineyards benefitted from longer growing degree days and better wind flow. The summer never heated up to any extremes but did offer opportunities to ripen the fruit with proper canopy management. Cooling trends towards harvest time created a perfect storm for moisture in Napa Valley and while creating possible botrytis issues for our neighbors, the Titus estate persevered with ever-present drying winds. While the quantity is dramatically down in 2011 the quality has proven to be high.
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.
The 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has a shimmering, deep purple and ruby color. The nose is alluring and complex with aromas of black cherry, strawberry, Red Delicious apple, and brown sugar. The mouth-feel is medium bodied. Fine grain, integrated tannins offer a delicate but sturdy structure to the wine. Flavors of pomegranate, cassis, cherry and cranberry are complemented by flavors of sweet tobacco and vanilla. This wine is a great sipper. Recommended drinking time is three to ten years from vintage. Maximum suggested aging is ten years from vintage.
92 Points from James Suckling - previously Senior Editor for Wine Spectator
Vineyard Manager: Eric Titus
Winemaker: Phillip Titus
Appellation: Napa Valley
Blend: 76% Cabernet Sauvignon
11% Merlot, 7% Malbec, 6% Petite Verdot
Harvest Date: October 2011
Barrel Aging: 22 months, 80% French oak
45% new barrels
Bottled: July 2013
Cases Produced: 1884
Total Acidity: .59 grams/100 ml
Release: January 2014