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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 as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960's, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those is the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of 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 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.

ENG59588_1999 Item# 59588