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Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon 1999

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • RP91
  • WS90
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I was never as enthusiastic about the 1999 vintage for Napa Cabernet as some of my colleagues, and the late-released 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate displays the green, herbaceous element that was one of my disquieting observations about this vintage when it was first reviewed. Still very young, with a deeper color than the 2007 with just a touch of lightening at the edge, it reveals notes of forest floor, roasted herbs, black currants, and a hint of mint. Medium to full-bodied, pure, and extremely youthful, it has another 20 years ahead of it.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
wine with a potent personality. Dark and intense, with a massive core of tannins lining the racy, herbaceous bell pepper, currant, earth, mineral and tar flavors. Has a good dose of cedary oak. Finishes with firm tannins and the need to rest, chained in a dark, cool space for a few years.
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Philip Togni

Philip Togni

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Philip Togni, 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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Cabernet Sauvignon

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A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is sometimes referred to as the “king” of red grapes. It can be somewhat unapproachable early in its youth but has the potential to age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more at its best. Small berries and tough skins provide its trademark firm tannic grip, while high acidity helps to keep the wine fresh for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region (and in St-Emillion and Pomerol, where it plays a supporting role to Merlot). The top Médoc producers use Cabernet Sauvignon for their wine’s backbone, blending it with Merlot and smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot. On its own, 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's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California 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 revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

ENG59588_1999 Item# 59588