Emperor Titus of Napa Valley – Episode #128

Author: Mark V. Fusco

San Antonio, TX

In this video wine review, Mark reviews the 1999 Titus Zinfandel.

Link for today’s show:

Titus Vineyards – Winery

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4 Responses to “Emperor Titus of Napa Valley – Episode #128”

  1. Hi Mark,

    Full disclosure, I am one of two employees at Titus Vineyards. Officially my title is Director of Consumer Sales and Marketing but in a small business, titles are truly arbitrary.

    All that said, thanks for reviewing the ’99 Titus Zinfandel. I do enjoy an old zin. On last months Titus TV we enjoyed a 95 Zin and it was delicious. I do find that Zinfandel can push past the consumer palate after about the 5 year range. Old Zin often picks up old Bordeaux qualities of leather and tertiary notes along side a raisoned fruit quality not suited to all palates. I certainly hope this experience with the 99 zin will cause you to check out some of the current vintages. Again, I am glad you enjoyed it. I’ve had the 99 not too long ago as well and came to the same conclusions; Not in it’s prime any more but pleasurable and useful as a marker for older zin.

    On to the big bottle small bottle question. This comes down to access and availability, not with the wine but the glass itself. A standard 750mL bottle is exactly that, a standard size. This ‘standard’ size makes this size bottle easily accessible at reasonable costs. Odd sizes being anything smaller of larger will cost more than merely half or double and so on. Small facilities like ourselves try to keep the costs down by ordering glass when a larger winery is ordering glass in order to piggy back off of the quantities. Buying in packaging in bulk is always less expensive, so if you are lucky enough to add your small order of 30 magnums, our standard order of Zin mags, to a bigger winery’s order of 3000 magnums we are able to keep costs reasonable. Sadly, this is not always the case and is why often time you will see uneven pricing between sizes from smaller wineries. I hope this answered you question and I am glad to answer more if you have them.

    Ah, a quick note on library wine pricing. Wineries often use a simple and extremely nonscientific formula for pricing library wines. The equation is as follows. For each year your 750mL is older than your current release you add $5 to the cost of the bottle. If this bottle is a ‘reserve’ or a magnum you add $10 per year. I have no idea where this equation came from but I often find people using it for whatever reason, laziness I guess. Most wineries put caps on this growing price to keep the wines from skyrocketing in price. The growth in price is not an assessment of quality or scarcity. It follow the assumption that the longer the winery is hold the inventory the longer the winery is paying for the storage of the wine and in turn the costs of storage are diffused by more expensive library wines. The benefit to the consumer is not the price but the peace of mind that the wine has been stored in the best and most stable conditions since it was made.

    Again thanks for taking the time to check out Titus Vineyards. I certainly hope you will check more out in the future. Keep doing what you are doing and continue to enjoy wines no matter the price, great or small. Everything deserves a fair shot and a second look. Good luck on your exams.

    Christophe Smith

    03/15/2010 at 17:13 Reply
  2. David T (@ONUMello) #

    Mark, just got around to watching this episode- I’ll sort of echo what was said in the above comment (obviously much more authoritative than me) regarding magnum prices- I’ve always been told that larger bottles are "more collectible" and thus can command a higher premium. Likewise, they have the potential to age longer and thus are potentially more valuable to collectors than 750s. I hadn’t even taken into consideration acquisition cost etc.
    Just my 2 cents.

    03/24/2010 at 03:40 Reply
  3. Mark V. Fusco #

    Hi guys! Thanks for the comments and info. Christophe your info was great. It makes more sense now. David also thanks for the info. Glad that both of you enjoyed the episode!

    03/26/2010 at 14:07 Reply
  4. Cheers!

    03/29/2010 at 18:17 Reply

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