19 Aug Titus Vineyards: 50 Years in Napa
In 1968, Titus Vineyards was born with the purchase of their property. They have farmed this land continually since 1969, which gives them 50 years in Napa Valley. Today, Titus Vineyards remains family-owned. The property consists of a 50-acre vineyard, winery, and tasting room at the base of Howell Mountain in the St. Helena AVA, near Calistoga. I had the pleasure of lunching with Eric Titus who shared with us their current releases as well as some treats from their library.
In the vineyard, they prefer a “light touch”, including no mechanization. Stephen Cruzan has been their winemaker since 2015, which is the year their onsite winery was completed. Before that, Philip, Eric’s brother, headed up winemaking at a custom crush facility. Philip now makes wine at Chappellet, but he is still involved with Titus. They built the winery to be able to be more nimble, reactive, and agile and so that they could make decisions with more flexibility. They are now holding at 14,000-15,000 cases annually.
I asked the question: what is next for Titus? What do the next 50 years bring? Eric’s response is that they always like to keep their options open. This could mean the next generation of the Titus family taking over. Or perhaps, maybe there is a sale in their future? Only time will tell.
Titus Wines Tasted:
2016 Andronicus Red Wine $32
Andronicus is Eric and Philip’s ode to the blend. This wine is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon (66%) with some Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. A classic Bordeaux blend. A generous red that is both hyper balanced and precise with a combination of red and black fruit, spicebox, vanilla, and smoke.
2016 Cabernet Sauvignon $57
A youthful purple color. A balanced wine with well-integrated tannins. I want this wine on a Friday night: in front of the fire, cozying on the couch with my husband, my dog, and a cushy blanket.
2016 Zinfandel $37
An unabashed Zin, not afraid of its raisin quality. Juicy red fruit plus prunes on the nose.
2016 Cabernet Franc $54
A beautiful, ethereal wine. Underbrush and graphite on the nose. Licorice on the back palate.
2017 Sauvignon Blanc $28
Small production with only 1,000 cases. A splash of Viognier softens this wine and helps knit the fruit together. A totally different perspective on Sauvignon Blanc. The acidity and greenness are in check. In fact, this wine is all tangerine, all the time.
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon $177
Red, black, and blue fruit on both the nose and the palate. A bit of heat on the nose. Good tannic structure plus licorice/anise on the back palate.
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon $137
Chocolate and cocoa on the nose. Even more of a tannic structure than the ‘06.
2012 Petit Verdot
This wine screams that it wants a pork tenderloin to go with it! The predominant fruit here is blueberries. A basket of tiny, ripe blueberries.
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
A deep purple core with a watery rim. SO much fruit still here for being a 10-year-old wine.
2012 Lot 1 Red Wine $129
A blend of Malbec, Petit Sirah, Petit Verdot, and Zinfandel. A big ‘ol wine with lots ‘o tannins. This is the biggest and juiciest of the bunch. According to Eric, this wine is about hedonism.