Titus’ 2016 Andronicus Napa Valley Red is a gorgeous Bordeaux-style blend, composed of 66% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Malbec, 11% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot, and 5% Merlot, that melds juicy and smooth Napa Valley fruit with the suavity and finesse of top notch Classified Bordeaux from St. Julien. Ripe berry aromas infused with succulent hints of chocolate, earth, and spice leap from the glass. In the mouth, the wine’s beguiling olfactory reappears to grace the palate with a delightful cache of black fruits, spice, and woodland flavors. Superbly structured, silky tannins carry the 2016 Andronicus to a long and lovely finish with nary an edge. It is hard to believe that this wine weighs in at 15.1% alcohol. The 2016 Andronicus exhibits balance and complexity, and it over-delivers in every way. Although drinking supremely well right out of the gate, the 2016 Andronicus should continue to improve in bottle for several more years. For optimal enjoyment, we suggest opening Titus’s 2016 Andronicus at least 15-20 minutes before serving it at cool room temperature (60°-62° F).
Even at a tender age, the 2016 Andronicus Napa Valley Red serves as a bellwether of conviviality and grace at table. Moreover, it is equally ready to perform at an elegant dinner party or to raise the status of a mid-week meal to that of a celebration. Consequently, fine cuts of meat, exquisite cheeses, complex sauces and the savory aspects of a meal provide natural companions to this stylish, forceful Bordeaux-style blend. Rack of Lamb rubbed with garlic and infused with mint, rosemary, and thyme provides a tasty accomplice, as the pronounced flavor of the lamb melds perfectly with the complex flavors in the wine. Filet Mignon and Châteaubriand offer equally fine accompaniments. Carpaccio of Bison served with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano on a bed of organic greens; duck breast; spit-roasted hens; and ostrich provide more excellent complements. A duo of veal medallions wrapped with prosciutto ham and served with potato gnocchi, pearl onions, and mushrooms also deserves serious consideration. Duck breast prepared with a blackberry or dark cherry reduction provides plenty of pleasure, too, as will a selection of creamy, soft, cow’s milk cheeses. Bon Appétit!
Andronicus is the handiwork of brothers Phillip and Eric Titus of Titus Vineyards. Andronicus, which means “victory of man,” is the Latin form of the Greek word Andronikos. The name Andronicus was also used in Shakespeare’s 1593 play titled Titus Andronicus. The Titus brothers have chosen this name for their family’s outstanding Cabernet-based Meritage, or Bordeaux blend, which emanates primarily from their estate vineyards as well as from a few select parcels of vines belonging to Napa Valley friends.
Located along Napa Valley’s famous Silverado Trail just north of St. Helena, Titus Vineyards lays claim to 40 acres of historic vineyards and one of America’s most iconic winemakers, Phillip Corallo-Titus. Phillip and his brother Eric Titus are 2nd generation guardians of this historic, famed, and family-owned vineyard, which now features one of Napa Valley’s newest and most innovative wineries.
The Titus brothers’ tremendous work ethic and attention to detail have resulted in numerous 90-100 point scores for their artisan wines. Titus’ enviable portfolio includes award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, and reserve offerings, including the estate’s highly sought-after Lot 1, a rare blend of Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Zinfandel.
In addition to fashioning world-class wines at Titus, Phillip Corallo-Titus has been the winemaker at Chappellet and the man responsible for Chappellet’s meteoric rise and multiple 99 and 100 point scores for its wines. In recognition of Phillip’s consistent ability to make extraordinary wines, Wine Spectrum named Phillip Corallo-Titus 2018 Winemaker of the Year.
Meritage is California’s answer to Bordeaux. It is also a term that has come in vogue to describe New World blends that are made from traditional red Bordeaux varietals. Therefore, a meritage wine is essentially a blend of three or more traditional red Bordeaux grapes with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc the most notable participants. Malbec and Petit Verdot are the other likely players. However, there are no legal or proscribed percentages for each grape variety in a meritage wine, so producers are permitted to vary how much of each varietal finds its way into the final offering, much as the great Bordeaux Châteaux vary their cépages, or blends, depending upon the estate’s desired style of wine and the vagaries of each individual vintage.
Nearly all meritage wines eschew the name of a single varietal on the label because varietal bottling requires that at least 75% of a single variety be present in a blend to be labeled as a single varietal (in California and in most other states). The minimum requirement for varietal labeling in Europe and in most other New World producing wine countries is 80%. Because three or more grape varieties are included in the blend, meritage offerings are often more complex and nuanced than their single varietal counterparts. It is often the addition of small percentages of other Bordeaux varietals in California’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignons that make producers’ varietal bottlings stand out.
Enjoy Limited Production Estate
Discover limited production estate bottled wines such as Vergenoegd's internationally
acclaimed 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, imported exclusively for our members.