93 Points from James Suckling
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, located on the valley floor just north of St. Helena on the Silverado Trail, possesses 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. Further north, our Ehlers Lane Vineyard consists of a stony, dry streambed and a knoll composed of thin gravelly soil over hard volcanic ash. Planted entirely to Cabernet Sauvignon, clone 337, these infertile soils produce low yields of grapes with concentrated flavors.
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. The free-run juice was transferred to oak barrels, where it underwent malolactic fermentation.
Our tenth vintage of Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon delivers a complex, pronounced nose. Aromas of black currant, Santa Rosa plum, and blackberry preserve fill the glass and are accompanied by cigar box, star anise, lavender, and cedar. The aromas translate directly to the palate wrapped in well integrated fine grain tannins. Additional flavors are cassis, black cherry, baking spices, and cocoa powder. The finish is rewarding and everlasting with notes of brown sugar. The Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is both smooth and drinkable for such a mouth-filling, full-bodied Cab with great integrated, fine grain tannins with just enough acid to leave your mouth watering. The recommended drinking time for this wine is five to thirteen years from vintage, with an hour of decanting prior to drinking. The maximum suggested aging of this wine is ten to eighteen years from vintage.
Vineyard Manager: Eric Titus
Winemaker: Phillip Titus
Appellation: Napa Valley
Blend: 78% Cabernet Sauvignon
14% Petit Verdot, 5% Malbec 3% Merlot,
Harvest Dates: October 2011
Cases Produced: 372
Barrel Aging: 22 months, 100% French oak, 80% New
Bottled: August 7, 2013
Total Acidity: .58 grams/100 ml.
Release: March 2014