"This is cabernet for those who don’t want training wheels. That acidity and food-friendly astringency are, in effect, coming through as black licorice to accent the tart blackcurrant flavors. It’s a growling, tough mountain cabernet, but decant it and try it over a couple of hours and you see the full magnitude of cabernet in its classic form." ~ Jon Bonne, Punch
The second label from Philip Togni Vineyard, "Tanbark Hill" comes from the same 10.5-acre estate vineyard as their eponymous wine and receives the same impeccable care in the cellar (20 months in 40% new French oak). The wine generally consists of fruit harvested from a 3-acre block (planted to 99% Cabernet Sauvignon) which has slightly richer soils. Added to the wine made from this block are barrels destined for the Estate bottling that are deemed more suitable for earlier drinking.
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"This is an irrefutable source of remarkable Cabernet Sauvignons that last 20-30+ years! Cabernet enthusiasts who have not yet discovered Philip Togni should be on a crusade for his wines, which will handsomely repay extended cellaring." -Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
There are few winemakers still living with the kind of history that Philip Togni has under his belt. Long before his eponymous winery was even conceived, he was crafting some of the most iconic wines in California. After a year at Mayacamas (1959), he became the founding winemaker for Chalone, worked at Inglenook for a year, became the founding winemaker for Chappellet (producing the acclaimed 1969 Cabernet Sauvignon that is still regarded as one of the greatest ever produced in California), and finally at finished out the 1970's at Cuvaison.
In 1981, while still employed at Cuvaison, he began planting his own vineyard on Spring Mountain and it is here that he has cemented his legacy. Starting with the 1983 vintage he has produced an unbroken string of world class wines; age-worthy, classic, and incredible. Although Philip is still very involved, since 2007, his daughter Lisa has taken the lead more and more. The good news is that she shares her father's gift for winemaking and shows no interest in changing anything at this venerable estate.
While the trends have ebbed and shifted throughout the past three decades, Philip and Lisa have remained true to the style that made the name Togni legendary. It's a thrill to taste these wines, knowing you are tasting history in the making.
Legendary. Iconic. Benchmark. These are words that can only truly be earned with time, and Philip Togni Vineyard has earned the right to use them all.