What We Say 2009 TyTanium Sonoma Valley Red Wine
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s wine is the best we have tasted from Ty Caton! This is very high praise, as we have always loved Ty’s wines. Don’t miss out on this remarkable opportunity.
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Mission Codename: Be Astonished
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: For our Elite Operatives, return to Ty Caton Vineyards, and retrieve Ty’s stellar, ultra-premium, 2009 Sonoma Valley Tytanium
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Ty Caton Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2009 Tytanium – Caton Vineyard
Winemaker: Ty Caton
Backgrounder: The Sonoma Valley AVA is one of the oldest wine growing regions in California with the first vines being planted in the early 1800s. The AVA is located along California Route 12 and its eastern boundary are the southern end of the Mayacamas mountains. The unique micro-climate with less rainfall and fog than other parts of the region along with its unique soil provides ideal growing conditions for red wine varietals. Today’s wine, a blend of 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Syrah, 18% Petite Sirah 12% Merlot and 9% Malbec is, in a word, stupendous!
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep ruby red from core to edge, where a fine band of burgundy encircles the wine. Spin the wine, and it coats the glass with a magenta iridescence. After a moment, this coating coalesces into tall, thin tears that start high up on the glass.
Smell – Led by soft blackberry liquor and black cherry and black licorice, as this wine opens up, it reveals dried fig, smoky blueberry jam, dark sweetwood, cassis, cacao nibs and dried tobacco leaf.
Feel – Weighty and ultra-plush, with a distinct crushed velvet that immediately coats the tongue. Ripe tannins and dark minerals combine with balanced acids to give the wine elegance, body and complexity.
Taste – Rich and jammy with blackberry, black cherry preserve, plum preserve, blueberry and braised mission fig. These rich flavors sit atop spiced cherry, dark sweetwood, exotic spice, tobacco leaf and black pepper.
Finish – Dark fruit coats the mouth and lingers on for a very long time, gently yielding to spice, licorice, dried black flower petals, black pepper and slate mineral.
Conclusion – We thought that we knew and loved Ty Caton’s wines, but today’s 2009 Tytanium just blew us away! For such a young wine, we were especially impressed. Rich, delicious, elegant and packed with flavor, this wine satisfies on so many levels. From first aromatic inhalation to final sip, this wine brought our tasting panel much joy. We think that it is drinking brilliantly, right now, and we are certain that it will only continue to improve over the next several years. The trick, for us, will be figuring out how to hang on to a few bottles – without being tempted to enjoy them. We will certainly be breaking a few bottles out at our annual holiday party (we hope that you’ll be joining us!) and we encourage you to enjoy a bottle or two at your swankiest holiday shindig. Drink this gorgeous wine all on its own, or enjoy it with most foods. This elite offering from our friend, Ty Caton, really delivers. Enjoy!
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Ty Caton
WINE EDUCATION: Various classes at UC Davis, most importantly on the job training.
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Minimal intervention – our goal is to let the grapes tell their own story without intervening
WINEMAKER QUOTE: Actively Seeking Excellence
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: December, 2002
AGENT RED: Greetings, Ty. We are thrilled to be showing your 2009 Tytanium today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
TY: Thanks, Agent Red. As always, it is great to be back with you!
RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
TY: Wine tasting in Napa with my cousins.
RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
TY: Peter Mathis of Ravenswood
RED: Who do you make wine for?
TY: I’m a pleaser by nature – I enjoy entertaining people and wine is intricate part of the socialization process, which I love!
RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
TY: Tytanium is my flagship wine, my proprietary red blend from my mountain estate vineyards. It’s a carefully crafted blend of Cabernet, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Merlot, and Malbec. It’s predecessor, was recently recognized by the Quarterly Review of Wines in their 27th Annual Best of the Best Tasting. This was a blind tasting of 640 wines and Tytanium was awarded as one of the top five wines in California in its category. I think this vintage is better. It’s a wine that will live up to its hype.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
TY: I like to call this wine a cross over, it’s a wine that you can sip on by itself or have with a meal. It calls out for red meat.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Sonoma Valley so special?
TY: Sonoma Valley is really defined by its diversity. My estate vineyard is about 1000 feet in elevation on the mayacamaas mountain range. All of the vineyards have different and unique sun exposures, soil types, clones, incline and elevations, thus expressing a completely distinctive and authentic set of aromas and flavor profiles in each wine.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
TY: Right now we’re putting the vineyard to bed for the winter, preparing for erosion control as well as pressing and barreling down our last Cabernet lots in the winery.
RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
TY: These wines are somewhat of a cross over – they can be sipped by themselves or enjoyed with a meal.
RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
TY: Our vineyard grapes are grown certified sustainable through Farming For Flavors grape growing program.
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
TY: Thank you, Agent Red, for the opportunity to share my wines with your Operatives!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Ty Caton Vineyards & winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
TYTANIUM REPRESENTS A STATEMENT OF DISTINCTION for the types of wines I like to make by expressing the distinct character and authenticity of my family’s vineyard and our unique location.
This elegant wine is inky purple in color and has aromas of boysenberries and chocolate dipped brandied cherries, with hints of anise. On entry it has a rich and velvety texture with flavors of cocoa powder, vanilla, and Sorrento ham. Its sweet and dense mid-palate impression is followed by a soft, silky and generous mouth feel.
About The Winery:
Ty Caton Vineyards is dedicated to creating wines of distinction with an authentic sense of place. Our commitment to excellence begins in the Caton Vineyard, where Winemaker Ty Caton sustainably farms all of the grapes used in our Sonoma Valley wine. As one of the few exclusively estate producers in Sonoma Valley, California, Ty personally works with the grapes from soil to glass. He handcrafts his wines in small lots with an acute awareness of the land that enables him to make wines that truly showcase the vineyards. Ty Caton Vineyards is forging a new definition of quality in winemaking and Actively Seeking Excellence.
About The Vineyard:
CATON VINEYARD – Located in the foothills of Sonoma Valley, the Caton Vineyard is defined by its sustainable farming and belief that healthier vineyards produce very unique and distinctive wines. The vineyards have multiple sun exposures, soil types, and vary in altitude over 300 feet between each other. Our meticulous farming practices showcase the love for our land and our passion for the wines that come from it.
We achieve wines of authenticity by working with nature to showcase the true flavors of the grapes. Ty Caton personally manages the entire winemaking process, from planting the vines, to farming the grapes, to making the wine here in Sonoma Valley. By using exclusively estate grown grapes he is able to have complete control over the process and personally tend to the wine from soil to glass. His acute awareness of the land enables him to make wines that show the great potential of the vineyard site.
Ty Caton’s philosophy is that wine is a natural product and should be treated as such. His winemaking uses limited intervention, which allows the wines to speak for themselves and import the true expression of the vineyard. He ferments with wild yeast that naturally occurs in the grapes so that the wines are manipulated as little as possible. As a Sonoma Valley winemaker and grape grower he strives to produce the ‘wow factor’ by creating wines that are bold, highly extracted and beautifully structured. Ty Caton believes that blending is an art form and uses master blending techniques to combine different grape varieties and clones to create wines with many layers of complexity in aroma and flavor. By allowing the grapes to show their true character and enhancing it through blending, Ty Caton is forging a new definition of quality in Sonoma Valley winemaking.
Varietal: 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Syrah, 18% Petite Sirah, 12% Merlot, 9% Malbec
Appellation: Sonoma Valley
Region: Estate Grown, Caton Vineyard
Farming Practices: Certified Sustainable
Production: 827 Cases
Bottled: December 15, 2010