From the Wine Shop
Philip Togni Vineyard, Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, California 2018 (750mL)
Wine classicists would argue that Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has gotten too big, too sweet, too culty, and too expensive. They’ll pull out their ’70s- and ’80s-era Cabs from Beaulieu, or Mondavi, or Mayacamas, and grouse that “they don’t make ‘em like they used to.” And while they may have a point, let’s not forget that there are still standard-bearers out there like ninety-something Philip Togni, whose wines are some of Napa Valley’s most enduring classics.
The 2018 Estate spent 20 months aging in French oak barrels, 40% of which were new. It is only now starting to settle into itself, but it is clearly structured for long-haul aging. It displays a deep ruby core with garnet and purple reflections at the rim. The brooding mixture of saturated fruit and stony earth on the nose could easily fool you into thinking you were sampling a classified-growth Margaux: aromas of black plum, cassis, huckleberry, tobacco, wild herbs, dark chocolate, pencil shavings, and freshly turned earth are unveiled with time and aeration. It’s a full-bodied wine—but not obscenely so—with very fine-grained tannins that make it quite approachable young, but the secret here is a nice chord of freshness that will sustain it over time (in the Lisa Togni era, we’ve noticed the wines are perhaps a shade less tannic in their youth, but still, these are Napa reds for those with more of a Bordeaux palate). Given about 45 minutes in a decanter, it is a silky, elegant pleasure to enjoy now, but its peak drinking window is still a few years away (2025-2030 should be magical).
- CountryUnited States
- RegionNapa Valley, California
- Sub-RegionSpring Mountain
- SoilSandy-Clay Loam & Volcanic
- BlendCabernet Sauvignon 82%, Merlot 15%, Cabernet Franc 2%, Petit Verdot 1%
- OakFrench Barrels, 40% New
- Temp.Serve at 60-65° F
- GlasswareBordeaux Stem
- Decanting45 Minutes
- PairingBraised Beef Cheeks
You Might Also Like
Through the grapevine
Get the sommelier experience delivered to your inbox. Subscribe to stay up to date with Daily Offers, news, and more from SommSelect.