Delicious Pedigree-Rich Zinfandel
This 2015 Titus Vineyard Zinfandel captures the essence of what Robert Parker calls “a spectacular, high-quality vintage in the North Coast.” The author of this delicious red is none other than Phil Titus, the winemaking star who has landed a #6 spot on Wine Spectator’s “Top 100 Wines in the World” list and is the mastermind at Chappellet up on Napa’s iconic Pritchard Hill site. This 2015 owes its deep-berry concentration to a patch of 40-year-old Zinfandel vines that Titus and his brother Eric planted along the Silverado Trail just north of St. Helena. The sandy soils and old-vine pedigree coupled with Parker’s “Extraordinary” vintage produced a pure and structured expression of Napa Zinfandel, compact but light on its feet. Given its pedigree, this could easily warrant a high price tag, but we have it for just $26 per bottle. Not to be missed by lovers of hefty-pour, gulpable Zinfandel.
Tall, thoughtful, self-effacing, and calm, Phil Titus has been honing his viticultural skills since he was 12, when he began pitching in on the family vineyard helping nurture grapes that were sold to Charles Krug, Beaulieu Vineyards, and Quail Ridge. Today, he splits his time between his family’s eponymous winery and Chappellet on Pritchard Hill, where he’s become famous for crafting luscious 97-pointers.
In 2015, the fourth consecutive drought year in California ushered in a cool May, and moderately warm summer temperatures touched by a few August heat spikes — the results in the vineyards were lower yields of small clusters and BB-sized concentrated berries. The Zinfandel fruit that did emerge from Titus’s sandy soil-ensconced vines were packed with generous fruit character and lilting acidity.