It is impossible to know every great winery in Napa, or in any reasonably sized wine region, in my opinion. So I didn’t feel too terrible that I was unfamiliar with Titus Vineyards – though this year they are celebrating “50 years of farming in Napa Valley.” I was ready to rectify this in a tasting with fellow #LAWineWriters over 12 bottles of vintages between 2006 and 2017 and lunch at the Viviane in the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills.
Titus Vineyards is located in St. Helena AVA at the base of Howell Mountain on the Silverado Trail. The winery is family owned and originally sold their fruit to wineries such as Beaulieu Vineyards, Cuvaison and Charles Krug. Now 75% of their farming goes directly into their own wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot. The focus: Cabs and Bordeaux blends.
The vineyards have been farmed for over 150 years, with the Titus family purchasing the property in 1968 and having their first harvest in 1969. Their first proprietary vintage was 1990. They strive for a “light carbon footprint” according to Titus, using “hand crews” for harvest.
Aromas and Favors separated by ;
2016 Andronicus (a tragedy by William Shakespeare)
Cabernet Sauvignon Blend with Cab Franc and Petit Verdot.
Dark sweet cherry, plum, black pepper, mushroom, earth; nicely balance of both fruit and pepper, tannic, long finish.
2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Blend, Napa Valley
Similar aromas as the Andronicus, also dark berry, green peppercorn, pipe and char; dark fruit, forest floor and a great balance. One of my favorites in the tasting. (Balance, due to being blends in my opinion, was going to be a positive and predominant factor in these wines.)
2016 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
Perfumy, violet, mocha, plums; velvety, spice up front yet delicate, dry. (This one had some Cab Franc and Zinfandel.)
2016 Cabernet Franc
Balance, chocolate, dried dark berries, stewed mushroom, milk chocolate; dry, dark, peppery, spice and chocolate. Another favorite.
Blueberry, sweet charred wood, pipe, wet earth, dried leaves; welcoming spice and a very rich palate. Another favorite for me to note.
2017 Sauvignon Blanc
Golden delicious apple, lemon, minerals, zingy; lemon-lime, peach, pear, low acid, balanced. (There is a bit of Viognier in the blend, which may have accounted for the fruit and low acid. Titus said it was used to “knit together a lot of fruit.”) Very nicely done.
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
Blue to black fruit, pipe, plum, sweet earth; dry, balanced, dark fruits, port-like.
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon
Crushed black cherry, dark chocolate, tri-color peppercorns, redwood; red fruit, smoke, oak, incredible balance. This was also a favorite in the tasting.
2012 Petit Verdot
Sweet blue fruit, ripe blackberry, ash; dried berries, tannin and that perfect balance again.
2009 Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Voluptuous, sweet and dark fruit, dark chocolate, spice; big tannins and long length.
2010 Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Sweet aromas of cherry candy, fruit and charred steak; black cherry, earth, dry, dark, tannic.
2012 Napa Valley Lot 1 (proprietary blend)
Hello spice, earthy, wood, blue and black fruit; big, dry, tannic and a slight musty quality. Very welcoming on the mouth. Titus called it his “chocolate mousse of wines (and) more about hedonism.”
Clearly, I missed Titus in my Napa adventures and am thrilled to have been able to meet with Eric Titus, learn about their winery and taste these exceptional vintages. My suggestion: get some.
2971 Silverado Trail N, St. Helena, CA 94574
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com