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Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon 1995

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

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Philip Togni is one of California’s most foresighted winemakers, holding back a small amount of wine and releasing it at age ten. This year, small quantities of the 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate were released, and, as I almost invariably do, I rated it higher than I did initially. It is a classic Cabernet Sauvignon that apparently turns to Bordeaux for elegance, structure, and complexity, yet retains Napa’s extraordinarily sweet, rich, concentrated fruit. This profound 1995 still tastes like an adolescent. For my palate, it will benefit from another 4-5 years of bottle age, and should last easily for another 20-25 years. It is unquestionably one of California’s as well as the world’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignons.
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Philip Togni

Philip Togni

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Philip Togni, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
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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.

Spring Mountain District

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Above the town of St. Helena on the eastern slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains sits the Spring Mountain District.

A dynamic region, its vineyards, cut by numerous springs and streams, vary in elevation, slope and aspect. Soils differ throughout with over 20 distinct types inside of the 8,600 acres that define the appellation. Within that area, only about 1,000 are planted to vineyards. Predominantly farmed by small, independent producers, the region currently has just over 30 wineries.

During the growing season late afternoon Pacific Ocean breezes reach the Spring Mountain vineyards, which sit at between 400 and 1,200 feet. Daytime temperatures during mid summer and early fall remain slightly cooler than those of the valley floor.

Spring Mountain soils—volcanic matter and sedimentary rock—create intense but balanced reds with lush and delicate tannins. The area excels with Bordeaux varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot and in some cooler spots, Chardonnay.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

In the Glass

High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

Perfect Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

Sommelier Secrets

Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

DISTOGNI_1995 Item# 126600