Thanks to Christophe Smith, we had a truly engaging afternoon at Titus Vineyards in St. Helena. Titus is a wee bit hard to find, but well worth the effort. The turn-of-the century vineyard is on 40+ acres along the Silverado Trail. The charming farm house, where you can taste Titus wines (by appointment only), is off the main drag.
Christophe, whom I first “met” on Twitter, casually put a few bottles in a pack and led us outside to a picnic table under the shade of the trees, on the edge of the vineyards. His passion for Titus wines were understood after just a few sips.
We loved the lush 2006 Zinfandel, which received 93 points and an Editors’ Choice award from Wine Enthusiast. Petite Syrah (14%) was blended with the Zinfandel, adding a perfect touch in addition to balance. The tasting notes say it all: “Optimum cellaring for those with will power is 8-10 years.” We can also attest that it’s very drinkable right now. But I can’t attest to our will power!
Titus also shows why Cabernet is King in Napa Valley. Titus 2006 Cab Franc is fruit-forward while maintaining the smokiness that is a classic Franc characteristic. Christophe also offered us pours from two Cabernet Sauvignons – I adored the 2006 Cab Sauv, which is a traditional Bordeaux-style blend of 80% Cab Sauv, 9% Petit Verdot, 6% Malbec and 5% Merlot. But our favorite, and ultimately what we took home, was Titus 2006 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. We savored this rich, smooth and full-bodied Cab, which was excellent on its own but, when the time is right, we will likely pair it with thick juicy steaks.
Give Christophe a call before your next visit to the Valley, or find him on Twitter like I did – @cork_dork. But right now, you can see Titus up close and personal through his monthly videos of the vineyards and the Titus brothers – winemaker Eric and vineyard/business manager Phillip.