1997 Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon

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Wine Critic Reviews for 1997 Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon

The 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon has to be one of the great buys left for profound Napa Cabernet. He’s done the aging for you, and of course the wine is still an adolescent in terms of aging potential. Brilliant notes of cedar, spice box, cassis, smoke, and licorice soar from the glass, as if this wine were pretending to be a first-growth Pauillac. Full-bodied, powerful, still with a boatload of tannin to resolve, and just a faint lightening of the dense purple color at the rim, this is a brilliant wine from a vintage that produced relatively quick-evolving wines, but no such thing is tolerated at Philip Togni. This is a great Cabernet Sauvignon with the exuberance, purity, and richness of fruit that Napa provides, but with a Bordeaux structure that Togni, with his Bordeaux upbringing, somehow builds into the wine. This wine will continue to drink well for at least another 30+ years.

Previously recommended: 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate (95).

Robert Parker | 98 RP
I have always adored Togni's 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate because it captures both the natural intensity of the year and the vibrancy that makes these wines so compelling. Powerful and explosive, with huge density, the 1997 hits the palate with waves of dark fruit intermingled with savory herb, charcoal, tobacco and grilled herb overtones. Even with all of its intensity, the 1997 has enough textural richness to drink for another 10-15 years, maybe more, as there is still quite a bit of structure and tannin. Hints of cedar, tobacco, crushed leaves and game add the closing shades of nuance.

Vinous Media | 97 VM
(Cabernet Sauvignon- Philip Togni Vineyard) The 1997 cabernet sauvignon from Philip Togni is one of my absolute favorites from him in the decade of the 1990s. The bouquet is really starting to blossom and show a great core of blossoming mountain fruit, as it delivers a fine blend of sweet cassis and black cherries, tobacco leaf, just a whisper of the chipotles to come, cigar smoke, fresh herbs, dark soil tones, a bit of currant leaf and a deft framing of new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and beautifully balanced, with a rock solid core, ripe, resolving tannins and great grip on the very long and perfectly poised finish. Great juice that is still a few years away from its apogee. (Drink between 2019-2050)

John Gilman | 95 JG
Definitely an earthy, beefy and leathery red, but that's just part of the story as its mineral, currant, berry and cedar notes grow in complexity and turn elegant, yet retain a hearty, rustic edge. Drink now through 2010. 2,230 cases made.

Wine Spectator | 91 WS

More Information
Vintage 1997
Color Red
Country US: As one of the most prolific and innovative wine regions in the world, America is a joy to explore. Most wine connoisseurs will agree that the nation's finest and most compelling wines are being produced today, which means that we have front-row seats to one of the most inspirational stories in wine history. While other regions tend to focus on specific wine styles and have somewhat strict rules as to which varietals you could grow, areas like California have few such restrictions in place. As a result, creative visionaries behind America's most reputable estates have been able to develop compelling, unique, and innovative styles, with a level of terroir expression that rivals even France's largest giants.
Producer Philip Togni
Rating 98 RP
Region California: With a history of wine production that dates back to the 18th century, California currently sits as one of the world's most prolific and reputable wine regions. With an area as vast as California, you can expect a colorful collage of terroir profiles, a series of microclimates, and micro-environments that give the wine a unique, memorable appeal. The region's produce is far from homogenized in that sense, and it would take you countless hours to sample all of it. While the region boasts scars from the Prohibition era, it went through what can only be described as a viticultural Renaissance sometime after the 1960s. At that point, California went from a port-style, sweet wine region to a versatile and compelling competitor on the world market. Today, no matter which way your taste in wine leans, you can find a new favorite producer among California's most talented. Notable sub-regions include legendary names like Napa Valley and Sonoma County, places that any wine lover would die to visit. California's quintessential warm climate allows for incredibly ripe fruit expressions, a style that provides a stark contrast to Old World-inspired, earthy classics. Even where inspiration was clearly taken from staple French appellations, Californian winemakers put their own unique spin on the wine.
Type of Wine California Red: Whether it's Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Zinfandel, Californian red wine producers have a lovely habit of taking a varietal and expressing its essence in a unique, never before seen way. From Napa Valley to the regions south of Los Angeles, there's a red for everyone - and it's never too late to start exploring.
Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
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