What We Say 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
2008 Wine Intrigue Award Winner: Agent Blush’s Top Selection
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT!
Take it from Agent White’s mom: This is one exceptional wine. Be sure to stock up as we are sure to sell out of our extremely limited allocation early.
COVERT SAVINGS ALERT!
Hey, if you order six bottles or more, we’ll give you Free Ground Shipping, but only if you enter coupon code NAPASPY.
XMAS GREETINGS ALERT!
From all us Spies to all you covert operatives out there, we just want to say that we love you! You are the best presents we ever could have hoped for. Thanks for being a part of our spy family!
PAST MISSION RECAP:
Mission Codename: Clash of the Titus
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Acquire the 2005 vintage of Titus Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Titus Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker: Phillip Titus
If 2004 was a good year in Napa Valley, then 2005 is turning out to be stellar. The 2005 vintage was recently rated 95 points by Wine Enthusiast (recommending a hold, but this wine is ready to go now), this exceptional example from Titus Vineyards demonstrates the point. Titus Vineyards is based in the Saint Helena AVA, which was established in 1995 but Titus’ history in the region dates back to 1967.
If you are not familiar with Titus, then this is an excellent opportunity to taste a wine that people will be raving about for years to come.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dark purple and almost black with a dark inky core that lighten to deep garnet edges. Long slow thin legs creep down the side of the glass when swirled.
Smell – Immediately upon opening the bottle you are hit by a beautiful suave aromas of ripe black and red fruit complemented by earthy notes and hints of floral violet and a little toast.
Feel – If anything is most notable of this exceptional wine, it is the mouth-feel. smooth and velvety with soft medium tannins and easy acidity. Almost creamy in texture and just a joy to swish around in your mouth.
Taste – Extremely well integrated flavors of blackberry and black cherry layered over a mild earthy component and hints of chocolate, mocha coffee, spice and easy toasted oak.
Finish – This wine finishes elegantly with smooth flavors of fruit and mocha.
Conclusion – In this wine, Titus Vineyards hits a home run. This is truly an exceptional wine with smooth rich flavors and everything lovers of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon long for. While there is no question that this wine will improve with age, its hard not to be extremely impressed with how it is showing now. Ready to drink upon opening, it only improves as it breathes.
Agent Red had returned from Titus Vineyards with a handful of samples and that signature grin on his face. That grim, is a combination of a mischievous child, or perhaps better described as the cat with the parakeets feathers sticking out of its mouth on top of perhaps too much good wine.
Agent Sparkle was concerned that he had been drugged or perhaps otherwise compromised and asked me to covertly verify that the wines had not been tampered with. Our initial tasting revealed wines of remarkable elegance and finesse.
But how to infiltrate the winery. The folks at Titus knew us, and yet, this operation required the big guns and a bit of subtly. After pondering for a while, it hit me, call in the big guns. The operative we needed had to be a lion in a kitty cat’s clothes. Someone who knew Cabernet and had been around the wine block. But also someone who would arouse suspicion. Someone’s who’s temperament was calm, cool and collected, but could be unleashed like a bag full of rattlesnakes.
The perfect person, you ask? My mother… She directed the technical analysis and found that the wine was indeed pure 2005 Napa Cabernet. No lingering trace of tampering could be found. It was only after she conducted a thorough tasting that Agent Red’s grin could be explained… When I walked into the lab, the tough-as-nails person had the same grin as Agent Red.
It was simply exceptional wine. If you haven’t yet tasted this Titan from Titus Vineyard, now is your chance. Trust me, and my mom, this is a wine you wont soon forget…
The 2005 vintage of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was rated 95 Points by Wine Enthusiast. After tasting this wine, you’ll know why.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Titus Vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards and Accolades:
91 Points – Full bodied and heavily perfumed, this wine impresses as soon as it is poured. Deep purple hue for color and long legs are a great start for this winery; signs of quality in production and finished product will have folks remembering the Titus name after tasting. If you are a fan of well made Napa Cabernets, chances are you have tasted this winemakers wines before as he has served as the winemaker for a couple of award winning prestigious wineries going back two decades. Generous to a fault, this wine gives and gives, awarding the senses with floral and ripe fruit aromas. Made in the classic Bordeaux style, the flavors mingle berry with a hint of deep caramel, chocolate and coffee. The plush finish lingers lush and sexy (MDME). Enobytes (March 2008)
89 Points – “Dark ruby/purple colored, the 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits a sweet bouquet of crème de cassis and black cherries, soft tannin, and an easy-going, broad mouthfeel. Drink it over the next 8-12 years.” – The Wine Advocate (Dec. 2007)
”While the wine is impressively, close to devastatingly, pure and intense, it’s also all about structure now, dominated by the broad framing and deep foundation of polished, spicy oak, chewy, grainy tannins and dark, vibrant acid. The wine is reticent, but not truculent, closed in but not distant. Some might call its condition Olympian detachment waiting for the right moment to unbend in a dignified manner, say from 2010 to 2016 to ’18.” – Fredric Koeppel, KoeppelOnWine (December 2007)
About This Wine:
Bright and lush, our 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon displays aromas of cassis, blackberry preserve, geranium, violet, and crème brulée flushed with sweet oak spice. On the palate, an impressive, mouth-filling structure supports vibrant flavors of red cherry, cranberry and black currant. Layers of oak spice resonate with tones of coffee, toast and toffee that linger throughout the smooth finish. Recommended drinking time is three to four years from vintage, with about one hour of decanting prior to drinking. Maximum suggested aging is ten years from vintage.
About This Vintage:
The 2005 growing season got off to a slower, later start with a cool spring and late rains stretching into June. The long summer brought moderate heat that stretched into October. The sizable crop showed higher numbers of berries per cluster, and slightly lower sugar levels. Due to the mild weather and large crop, harvest was later – by about two weeks – and gradual, with picking stretching out over several weeks. The lengthy 2005 growing season gifted these elegant wines with lively aromatics and a beautiful balance of concentration and texture.
About The Winery:
When the Titus story began, life in Napa Valley was simpler than it is today, and California’s wine industry had yet to achieve its enormous potential. The vineyard Lee and Ruth Titus acquired in 1967 was planted to Mondeuce, Burger, and Golden Chasselas, varietals all but forgotten today, but prevalent before the emphasis in Napa Valley evolved from quantity to quality and from generic to varietal wines. Also grown were ringers like Pinot Noir, poorly suited to our warm, up-valley microclimate.
Now that we have over thirty years experience working the land, our vineyard is supported with disease resistant rootstock, planted to clones and varietals tuned to fit our vineyards’ terrior, and farmed with a single purpose: to produce excellent quality wines rivaling the best in the world. Lee loved what was happening in Bordeaux at the time and decided those were the grape varieties he wanted to plant. And so it began, with Lee holding a book on Bordeaux in one hand and planting grapevines with the other saying, “you boys are going to need this some day.” At that time, planting Malbec and Petit Verdot for example, was relatively unheard of and probably considered risky. Now, Phillip and Eric absolutely appreciate their father’s foresight.
Lee Titus and his family came to California from Minnesota during the Depression. After graduating from Fresno State and serving in World War II, Lee attended medical school and became a radiologist. Meanwhile, Ruth Traverso grew up in San Francisco’s North Beach, where her parents, immigrants from the Piemonte region of Italy, were involved in the family bakery business. During family vacations in Calistoga, Ruth helped friends harvest their grapes, giving her a love for Napa Valley and a kinship with grape farming.
Years later, having fallen in love, married and settled in the town of Sonoma with their four sons, Lee and Ruth began acquiring fifty acres in three separate parcels just north of St. Helena along the valley floor. Although they hoped one day to build a family operated winery, it would be more than twenty years before they crushed fruit for production of Titus Vineyards wines. Lee and Ruth spent those years raising their sons and producing grapes for other wineries, including Charles Krug, Beaulieu Vineyards, Quail Ridge, and Pine Ridge.
Ultimately, Lee and Ruth left the creation of Titus Vineyards wines up to their sons: Phillip works as winemaker for Titus Vineyards, while Eric manages the business and vineyards. Peter and Paul are now pursuing careers in horticulture and anthropology, respectively.
About The Vineyard:
Our family vineyard, located on the valley floor just north of St. Helena on the Silverado Trail, 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. Further north, our Ehlers Lane Vineyard consists of a stony, dry streambed and a knoll composed of thin gravelly soil over hard volcanic ash. Planted entirely to Cabernet Sauvignon these infertile soils produce low yields of grapes with concentrated flavors.
Following harvest, the grapes were de-stemmed but not crushed, allowing increased control over tannin extraction by minimizing the possibility of broken skins and split seeds. Following a 48-hour cold soak to extract color and flavor, the grapes underwent a warm, short fermentation, with pump-overs occurring twice daily. The free-run juice was transferred to oak barrels, where it underwent malolactic fermentation.
Vineyard Manager: Eric Titus
Winemaker: Phillip Titus
Appellation: Napa Valley
Blend: 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot, 7% Malbec, 1% Merlot
Harvest Dates: 10/04/05 – 10/22/05
Barrel Aging: 20 months – 90% French Oak, 10% American Oak (40% new barrels)
Bottled: July 2007
Cases Produced: 3,795
Total Acidity: .59 grams/100ml
Release Date: September 1, 2007