phillip togni napa cab 14
There are few winemakers still living with the kind of history that Philip Togni has under his belt. Long before his eponymous winery was even conceived, he was crafting some of the most iconic wines in California. After a year at Mayacamas (1959), he became the founding winemaker for Chalone, worked at Inglenook for a year, became the founding winemaker for Chappellet (producing the acclaimed 1969 Cabernet Sauvignon that is still regarded as one of the greatest ever produced in California), and finally at finished out the 1970’s at Cuvaison.
In 1981, while still employed at Cuvaison, he began planting his own vineyard on Spring Mountain and it is here that he has cemented his legacy. Starting with the 1983 vintage he has produced an unbroken string of world class wines; age-worthy, classic, and incredible. Although Philip is still very involved, since , his daughter Lisa has taken the lead more and more. The good news is that she shares her father’s gift for winemaking and shows no interest in changing anything at this venerable estate.
From this single vineyard they produce the flagship Philip Togni Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, and a second label Cabernet Sauvignon, Tanbark Hil. The Cabernet Sauvignons are made using barrel selection, but are otherwise handled exactly the same. All fruit is aged for 20 months in 40% new French oak, at which point the decision is made of which lots are blended into each wine. A true estate, the wines are made, bottled, and stored just feet away from the vineyard.
While the trends have ebbed and shifted throughout the past three decades, Philip and Lisa have remained true to the style that made the name Togni legendary. It’s a thrill to taste these wines, knowing you are tasting history in the making.
"Togni's Cabernet Sauvignon Estate is quite dark and powerful, but also very much medium in body. Graphite, smoke, savory herbs, mint, leather and a core of inky dark red and purplish fruit infuse this deep, beautifully layered Cabernet Sauvignon. The is a wine built on energy and aromatics that won't hit its stride until at least age ten."
Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the Cabernet Sauvignon Estate has a wonderfully earthy nose of truffles, tilled soil and mossy bark over a core of fresh blackcurrants, black plums and blueberry pie with a waft of bay leaves. The palate is medium-bodied, elegant and refreshing with a beautiful quiet intensity and great freshness, finishing long and earthy.