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Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon 1993

Cabernet Sauvignon from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
  • RP94
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

RP 94
The Wine Advocate

It tastes are similar to a hybrid blend of a Pauillac and St.-Julien. Cedar wood, spice box, black currants, and tobacco leaf aromas soar from the glass of this aromatically exciting 1993. A dark plum/purple/garnet color reveals a touch of lightening at the edge. The wine is rich and medium to full-bodied, with impressive purity as well as intensity. Already beautiful to drink, it should evolve for another 10-15 years.

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Philip Togni

Philip Togni

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Philip Togni, , California
Philip Togni
Philip Togni planted their first vines near the top of Spring Mountain in the Napa Valley in 1981. Those phylloxera vulnerable rootstocks have now gone, replanted in the early nineties. Philip Togni's first wines were Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc in 1983, but they have now concentrated their efforts on a very ageworthy Margaux-type blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, all grown on the 25 acre parcel where the family lives. "Estate Bottled" is an important definition for Philip Togni, meaning that they grow all the grapes on land they own and make and bottle the wine with their own workers, totally free from outside influences.

There are three owners, Birgitta and Philip Togni, recently joined by their daughter Lisa. Birgitta specializes in the vineyard. Philip is a former student of Emile Peynaud at the University of Bordeaux where he earned the Diplôme National d’Oenologie many years ago while working as assistant Régisseur at Château Lascombes. Lisa, holding an MBA, with a background in the wine trade, has done harvests at Château Léoville-Barton and in Australia. Her plan is to take over the business during during the next few years.

One of the most iconic regions of Italy for wine, scenery, and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simply to complex and age-worthy, as well as in price from budget-friendly to ultra-premium, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano trailing far behind. Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines are produced in their respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Bolgheri, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, with the hillside locations hosting the best vines, as Sangiovese ripens most efficiently with maximum exposure to sunlight.

Sangiovese at its simplest, often carrying a regional designation of Chianti or just Italy, produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright red fruit and not much more, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity. In top-quality Sangiovese-based wines, expressive notes of sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise, tobacco smoke, and cured meat fill the glass. Brunello in particular is sensitive to vintage variation, performing best in years that are not too hot and not too cold. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, or Syrah, often grown in Tuscany’s Bolgheri region, with or without Sangiovese. These tend to be big, bold, and modern in style, often with noticeable new oak, and sold at super-premium prices.

Sangiovese

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The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is the backbone variety in Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Elsewhere throughout Italy, it can make inexpensive wines for daily consumption ranging from inoffensive to deliciously easy. On the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed moderate popularity in California and Washington State over the last few decades.

In the Glass

Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with savory flavors of tart cherry, plum, tomato, fresh tobacco, anise, thyme, oregano, and dried earth. High-quality, well-aged examples will take on notes of smoke, clay pot, leather, gamey meat, potpourri, and dried fruits. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.

Perfect Pairings

Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and grainy tannins create an affinity with tomato-based dishes, spicy meats, and anything off the barbecue.

Sommelier Secret

Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines (with price tags to match) that are typically monovarietal or a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.

DISTOGNI_1993 Item# 126598

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