My never-ending quest to find phenomenal under $30 Napa Cabernet has taken a turn. It’s officially become my side-job, no longer just a hobby. As fires have raged through the valley – winemakers have had more important calls to take than mine and many have lost nearly everything – including many of the wines I might ordinarily be seeking.
For years, my first call for quality Cabernet has almost always been to Ry Richards (Sueno Profundo, Chappellet, Fiancetto). If you’ve read our last call email, you know that those are in short supply. But always one to help, Ry was who first made the introduction to Phil Titus.
Phil’s reputation preceded himself as one of Napa’s great Cabernet winemakers responsible for much of the success at Chappellet as well as Titus Vineyards, and Sonoma Loeb amongst others.
In particular, his work atop Pritchard Hill at Chappellet, turning around a winery that once struggled, but has since churned out countless 98-100-pt scores with a fleet of $$$ wines that are gobbled up by the wine list that takes years to get in.
But as I would find out, the project closest to his heart is the one with his brother Eric, making wines off the family’s 50 acre estate in the heart of St. Helena. They were some of the early ones, purchasing the estate in 1968 and immediately replanting the vineyard from obscure jug wine varietals to Bordeaux grapes and a few precious parcels of Zinfandel.
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