Phillip TitusOn January 17, 2024, we had a chance to interview and catch up with Phillip Titus. Phillip is the winemaker for Chappellet and part owner of Titus Winery. In our Zoom interview, we covered four of his new-release Chappellet wines and one of his family’s Titus wines. We interviewed Phillip last in June of 2022 when we covered five of his Chappellet wines. Check out what we learned from Phillip this time.

Before we get to the wines, I thought I would share some tidbits and updates with regards to Phillip, Chappellet, and Titus.

• Charles Pritchard planted the vineyard in the 1800’s. It was 38 acres and the grapes were Zinfandel, Riesling, and Malvasia.
• Let’s talk vintages:
⇒ 2023 – Cool growing season. Lots of color and the tannins developed very slowly. So they had to wait for the tannins to develop. Hence a very late harvest.
⇒ 2022 – Late heat spell – Light wines and low tannins. A drink early kind of vintage.
⇒ 2021 – Very stressed vintage. Tiny berries, low crop, very tannic, and big wines! Reminds him of the 2013 vintage.
• Three vineyards that Phillip works with all have the same soil type. That makes each site easier for him to work with. They are Edcora, Stagecoach & Chappellet’s Pritchard Hill.
• The Chenin Blanc original vineyard was planted in 1964. It was pulled out in 2004. Molly asked, where are we going to plant the new Chenin block? So they planted 3 acres.
• Back I the 60’s Chenin Blanc was made off-dry. It was a popular style. Today they make in a bright and lively style.
• The Cabernet Franc: They grow quite a bit of the grapes, but some do come from neighbors.
• Merlot favors cool weather. They are getting concerned that it is getting to hot for this grape.
• Malbec loves the heat, that is why it does so well in Argentina.
• Hideaway’s 15 acres was replanted in the early 2000’s to 100% Cabernet. They have a long term project to plant up to another 20 acres. 5 acres at a time due to the limited water in the area.
• Phillip was the winemaker at Titus for 25 years.
• They finished their winery in 2015.
• Titus winemaker Stephen Cruzan, is part Phillip and part his brother. It works out nicely.
• The “Mountain Cuvee” was reviewed by Ken & Mark the following weekend. We really liked this big boy wine a lot, so we added it to the post!

The links below are to our full reviews. If you are interested in ordering and trying these wines, you will find the “Mountain Cuvee”, the “Signature” Cab and the “Pritchard Hill” Cab via your favorite fine wine shop or on top quality wines lists. The “Napa” Cab, the Chenin, and the Cab. Franc are also available for order via the Chappellet website. The “Pritchard Hill” and “Hideaway” are for members of the Pritchard Hill Estate Allocation list. If interested, you should join the list. As for the Titus “Reserve” Cab, you can call the winery and ask for it, as it has not been released yet.

  1. Chappellet 2022 Chenin Blanc “Signature” $75 (KWGTP 92)
  2. Chappellet 2021 Cabernet Franc “Napa Valley” $85 (KWGTP 93)
  3. Chappellet 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon “Signature” $90 (KWGTP 93)
  4. Chappellet 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon “Hideaway” $125 (KWGTP 94.5)
  5. Chappellet 2021 Red Blend “Mountain Cuvee Proprietor’s Blend” $50 (Ken & Mark 92.5)
  6. Chappellet 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon “Pritchard Hill” $325 (Review coming in March – Check back then)

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  1. Titus 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon “Family Estate Reserve” $115 (KWGTP 93)

You can find reviews of past and future Chappellet wines that we cover on the KWG Chappellet winery page on our website. You can find the Titus reviews that we cover on the KWG Titus winery page on our website. Phillip’s wines are terrific, and you should definitely try these wines! Enjoy – Ken

By Ken

Ken launched in November 2006.

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