The 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon has to be one of the great buys left for profound Napa Cabernet. He’s done the aging for you, and of course the wine is still an adolescent in terms of aging potential. Brilliant notes of cedar, spice box, cassis, smoke, and licorice soar from the glass, as if this wine were pretending to be a first-growth Pauillac. Full-bodied, powerful, still with a boatload of tannin to resolve, and just a faint lightening of the dense purple color at the rim, this is a brilliant wine from a vintage that produced relatively quick-evolving wines, but no such thing is tolerated at Philip Togni. This is a great Cabernet Sauvignon with the exuberance, purity, and richness of fruit that Napa provides, but with a Bordeaux structure that Togni, with his Bordeaux upbringing, somehow builds into the wine. This wine will continue to drink well for at least another 30+ years.
Situated above the 2000 feet mark upon Spring Mountain overlooking Saint Helena, Philip Togni Vineyard first planted their vines in 1982. Their initial production in 1983 consisted of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, and established their “Estate Bottled” concentration. Since then the three owners, Philip, Brigitta and daughter Lisa Togni have developed into crafting a Margaux inspired red blend balancing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The growing, pressing, bottling, storing and marketing of Philip Togni’s 2000 case production is entirely self-contained and all done on site. Their wines are certainly difficult to get a hold of as they are mainly sold by mailing lists. This is an accomplished winery focused on quality.
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