A couple of weeks ago when I was out in Napa Valley I had the opportunity to visit Titus Vineyards. They're right on Silverado Trail yet if you blink there's a good chance you'll miss them, which I almost did. Generally they're not open for public tastings. On this particular occasion they were hosting a blind tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon. Many other folks in the local wine community stopped by with a bottle of wine. Each bottle was in a brown paper bag and had a number assigned. I didn't count exactly how many there where, or taste every one, but I think it was in the neighborhood of 50 Cabs. It was a fun time and it was nice to say hi to the Titus brothers, who are responsible from some very tasty wines. It put me in the mood to taste and report on more of their selections. Today I'll look at their current release of Cabernet Franc. The Titus Vineyards 2006 Cabernet Franc has Cabernet Sauvignon (11%), Malbec (10%), and Merlot (4%) blended in. Barrel aging was accomplished over 20 months in all French oak; 30% were new. 385 cases of this selection were produced. The suggested retail price for this wine is $36.
I've thoroughly enjoyed and been impressed by each release I've had from Titus Vineyards. If you add that together with the fact that Cabernet Franc is a varietal I particularly enjoy, you can imagine I was excited to taste this wine. Leather, black fruit and an undercurrent of lavender are the most obvious aromas that emerge from this wine. Dark cherry notes are gloriously prominent and downright exuberant throughout the palate of this Franc. Dark chocolate is also present and echoes throughout this wine from start to finish in varying degrees, reaching a crescendo towards the back of the palate as it leads into the finish. Cloves, mineral and earth are joined by hints of tobacco and black tea on an excellent finish that is marked by it's length and lingering remnants of excellent acidity which is present throughout. This wine will pair well with roast meats, mushroom based dishes and other flavorful foods.
I went back to this wine after it had been open for 24 hours and it had continued to evolve and improve. If you store this wine properly it's going to get better in the bottle for the next 5 or so years and drink well for another 5 after that. However, if you're impatient and plan to drink this Cabernet Franc soon, do yourself a favor and decant it for at least an hour. This wine continues the streak of impressive offerings from Titus Vineyards. The hallmark for me has been a combination of brash and exuberant wines loaded with fruit, that are balanced with excellent structure, firm acidity and the ability to age. Another common trait amongst the Titus wines is that they over-deliver on their price points. If I had paid $55 0r $60 for this wine, it would have still been a fair value. At $36 it's a tremendous one.