2014 Family Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
94 points from Robert Parker, Jr., - The Wine Advocate
Coming on the heels of 2013, which had been heralded the “vintage of the decade”, 2014 certainly had a lot to live up to. One of the driest winters on record for California, most of the rainfall came in February and March and was quickly followed by warm soil temperatures. Fast spring growth set the valley off and running, in some cases seeing bud break and veraison almost 2 weeks ahead of schedule. The lack of major heat spike, allowed for longer hang times and (coupled with higher degree days and drier soils) increased concentration and complexity. A 6.0 earthquake on August 24th did not affect the crop at all, and although it will most likely be remembered as “the earthquake vintage”, the 2014’s will go down in history as the best of the stellar 12-13-14 vintage string, and one with higher than average yields and exceptional quality.
Our Family Estate Reserve vineyard, located on Ehlers Lane, 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. To this we add our blending varietals, grown further south on our Ranch House Estate. Located on the valley floor just north of St. Helena on the Silverado Trail, it 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.
The Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested on September 20th and October 3rd, 2014, from the Titus Estate on Ehlers Lane. After the fruit was received at the winery, it was destemmed directly to tank where it was fermented for 14 days. After fermentation, the free run wine was drained from tank and racked to barrel. This wine was aged in 85% New French Oak barrels for 20 months before being racked to tank for bottling.
This elegant Cabernet Sauvignon offers aromas of currant, blueberry, espresso and caramel. The mouthfeel is generous, open and layered with focused blueberry and cassis. The tannin structure is bold but refined, and allows the wine to glide across the palate to an extended and graceful finish.
Vineyard Manager: Eric Titus
Winemaker: Phillip Titus
Appellation: Napa Valley
Blend: 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.5% Malbec, 4.5% Petit Verdot
Cases Produced: 896
Release: September 2016
Barrel Aging: 20 months, French Oak, 85% New
Bottled: May 2016
Total Acidity: .58g/100 ml