Philip Tongi

This artisanal producer tucked away on the steep hillsides of Spring Mountain continues to fashion some of the most concentrated, inky black-coloured Cabernet Sauvignons in California.
ROBERT PARKER, The World’s Greatest Wine Estates

Philip Togni and his viticulturalist wife, Birgitta, purchased and planted this stunning vineyard in the early 1980s and it’s from this small, well hidden estate 2000 feet above the Napa floor, he crafts some of the world’s best cabernet sauvignons; wines that combine richness, purity and vibrancy rivalling some of the great names of Bordeaux.

The Bordeaux reference is not just about making qualitative comparisons either; Togni (now in his 70s) is an Englishman who studied under the great Emile Peynaux at Bordeaux University before taking a position at 2nd growth Margaux estate, Chateau Lascombes as assistant Régisseur in 1954.

The experience has undoubtedly influenced the way he makes his wine and the blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and petit verdot mirrors the standard Margaux cepage. The fermentation is conventional, however things do diverge from the norm when it comes to press wine, and none of it is ever included in the final blend, rather it goes into the younger vine second bottling, Tanbark Hill; Togni finds it adds a coarse element to the middle palate he doesn’t like. The oak used in the top wine is approximately 40% new and all French (Nevers).

As alluded to earlier the wines are stunning examples of cabernet and as many top showings in international blind tastings over the years prove they stand the test of direct comparison with the world’s best. As a result they are keenly sought after by collectors and Togni now allocates them to a devoted mailing list as well as to a few retail and restaurant accounts around the world. Those who purchased some of our first shipment of these wines last year will need little convincing of the quality of these wines. MICHAEL MCNAMARA