Philip Togni vertical with new notes

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Mark Golodetz
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Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#1 Post by Mark Golodetz »

Tonight we opened the first bottle of a three bottle vertical, the 1993 (they were supposed to be drunk together last Friday). This was the first vintage of Togni I ever tasted twelve years ago, courtesy of Max at Wine Connection.

This was excellent, and could have easily been taken for a Bordeaux. Slightly austere at first, but showing well in the glass with some coaxing. Fairly complex with a distinct ferric component, earth and still a good deal of pretty red fruit. Good acidity, long finish. Short of greatness but still lovely. 94

Will drink the other two vintages 1994 and 1997 during the week.
Last edited by Mark Golodetz on March 17th, 2020, 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical

#2 Post by John Morris »

I attended a vertical of 8 or 10 going back to the 90s last week. I can't figure out where I put my notes, but it was a very impressive showing. I'll post if I can find the notes.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical

#3 Post by Br1an Th0rne »

The 93 Togni has always surprised me, and for my tastes I’ve consistently found it better than the 97. I’d put my money on the 92 in a blind tasting of Togni from the 90’s!

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Re: Philip Togni vertical

#4 Post by Mark Golodetz »

Looking forward to tasting the 1997 as I have only had it once before, out of magnum, and thought it was one of the greatest California wines I have ever had.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical

#5 Post by Anton D »

That was a great note! I agree with you wholeheartedly!
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Re: Philip Togni vertical

#6 Post by Peter Panzica »

I have a mag of the this. I'm assuming it still has some life. Sadly I went threw my last few 1992s last year and they were amazing wines and above the greatness threshold.

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Re: Philip Togni vertical

#7 Post by Howard Cooper »

Mark Golodetz wrote: March 15th, 2020, 7:03 pm Tonight we opened the first bottle of a three bottle vertical, the 1993 (they were supposed to be drunk together last Friday). This was the first vintage of Togni I ever tasted twelve years ago, courtesy of Max at Wine Connection.

This was excellent, and could have easily been taken for a Bordeaux. Slightly austere at first, but showing well in the glass with some coaxing. Fairly complex with a distinct ferric component, earth and still a good deal of pretty red fruit. Good acidity, long finish. Short of greatness but still lovely. 94

Will drink the other two vintages 1994 and 1997 during the week.
The first time I tasted Togni wines was at a MacArthur's California Barrel Sample tasting in the mid-1990s, the year most producers were showing 1994s. Togni had open the 1991, 1993 and 1994. All were quite excellent (in fact your note on the 1993 does not surprise me and is consistent with what I would have expected even way back then). It was the weakest of the three, even though it was quite good. The strongest of the three was the 1991. I could not buy it at the time (only futures for 1994 were being sold at that time by MacArthurs at the tasting and they were out of 1991 in the store), but bought some 1994 that I still am holding in my cellar. My guess is that the wine will be quite good and I look forward to you telling me when to open mine. [cheers.gif]
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Re: Philip Togni vertical

#8 Post by Mark Golodetz »

Amazing that we are wondering if a 26 year old Napa Cab is ready. Tonight we are making Chicken Tikka, so probably tomorrow.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical

#9 Post by Dale Williams »

Thanks for great note Mark. I love Togni but don't buy enough, all I have left is a single '93.
A couple of years ago our Bdx group took a detour to Cali one night, lots of strong wines (90 Diamond Crk 3, '91 Mondavi Res., 87 Montelena), but the '91 Togni was easily my WOTN .

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Re: Philip Togni vertical

#10 Post by R. Frankel »

Mark Golodetz wrote: March 16th, 2020, 8:01 am Amazing that we are wondering if a 26 year old Napa Cab is ready. Tonight we are making Chicken Tikka, so probably tomorrow.
Reputation aside, there are so many wonderful age worthy Napas. Opened a 2001 Dunn Napa Valley Cab this week - absolutely lovely, well balanced intense. Structure to go another decade at least but very good now.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical

#11 Post by Howard Cooper »

Mark Golodetz wrote: March 16th, 2020, 8:01 am Amazing that we are wondering if a 26 year old Napa Cab is ready. Tonight we are making Chicken Tikka, so probably tomorrow.
Wineries like Togni, Dunn, Ridge, Chateau Montelena, Forman, Dominus, etc., have shown over and over again over many, many years the potential and aging capability of California Cabernet. It is such a shame that so many "elite" wineries are ruining their wine by picking raisins and smothering them with oak. Almost as sad as St. Emilion.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical

#12 Post by Pat Martin »

A bottle of the 93 recently bested a bottle of the 92 Togni. Good bottles and all that, but this was more the 93 thrilling than the 92 underwhelming.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical

#13 Post by Pat Martin »

How’s the 2010 of this? I won a 6 pack last year but I’ve assumed they need time, so I haven’t tried one yet.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical

#14 Post by K John Joseph »

Mark Golodetz wrote: March 15th, 2020, 8:14 pm Looking forward to tasting the 1997 as I have only had it once before, out of magnum, and thought it was one of the greatest California wines I have ever had.
Curious to hear your thoughts on this.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical

#15 Post by jordan jacobs »

Br1an Th0rne wrote: March 15th, 2020, 7:52 pm The 93 Togni has always surprised me, and for my tastes I’ve consistently found it better than the 97. I’d put my money on the 92 in a blind tasting of Togni from the 90’s!
The 92 is my favorite Togni of all time. Give the 2001 ten years and it will be right there with it.

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Re: Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#16 Post by Mark Golodetz »

The 1994 was corked, not badly, so we could see a fine wine underneath.

The 1997 was magnificent; a wine now in perfect balance despite its great concentration.

The fruit was bright, strong notes of violet and lavender, licorice and leather. On the palate perhaps a shade too much alcohol but easily absorbed into the blend of the bright fruit and layers of complexity. The finish was incredibly long, coming in easy waves of flavor. Needs another decade but a really special wine 98
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Re: Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#17 Post by maureen nelson »

Mark Golodetz wrote: March 17th, 2020, 6:59 pm The 1994 was corked, not badly, so we could see a fine wine underneath.

The 1997 was magnificent; a wine now in perfect balance despite its great concentration.

The fruit was bright, strong notes of violet and lavender, licorice and leather. On the palate perhaps a shade too much alcohol but easily absorbed into the blend of the bright fruit and layers of complexity. The finish was incredibly long, coming in easy waves of flavor. Needs another decade but a really special wine 98
Good to know. I still have the pair of bottles i bought after the barrel tasting (unfortunately I drank my 1991s a while ago). Who knows when i will get around to drinking them though.

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Re: Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#18 Post by David Glasser »

A shame about the 1994 Mark. That, the 1991, and the 1992 were my favorite Tognis from the '90s.

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Re: Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#19 Post by Mark Golodetz »

David Glasser wrote: March 17th, 2020, 10:40 pm A shame about the 1994 Mark. That, the 1991, and the 1992 were my favorite Tognis from the '90s.
I am really impressed with these wines. Even the corked bottle showed plenty of promise. I think I will have to do a fairly comprehensive tasting when things settle down.

I have nothing from the 1980s apart from 1985 which I picked up from Donn Hein on Commerce Corner. If anybody has any....
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Re: Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#20 Post by Jim F »

Here is an interesting tidbit on the 1997. I picked mine up, at the time, directly from the Togni’s. They mentioned that there were two bottlings, with the second getting 6 months additional barrel time. An experiment. I have never had the two side by side, although at one time I had both. No difference on the labels as I recall.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#21 Post by John Morris »

I found my notes from the vertical last month. I don't have time to write them all up.

In a nutshell, they were terrific across the board. I love the fact that many of those show some green notes -- that classic cabernet note that has been ripened out of most Cal cabs today.

The real standouts for me were: 1995, 1996, 1998 Estate and 2005. I scored those in the 92/93 range, and I tend to be stingy with points.

But that wasn't to slight the others. I was quite enthusiastic about the 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998 Tanbark Hill and the 2006. Those were all 90+ for me.

His '93 Ca' Togni dessert wine from black Hamburgh grapes was excellent, too.

I should mention the meal a friend cooked to go with these. He want all out, and the matches were great:
- Duck breast, duck sausage and goose pate
- Wild boar stew with polenta
- Boneless shell roast with crimini and shitake mushrooms
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Re: Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#22 Post by William Kelley »

David Glasser wrote: March 17th, 2020, 10:40 pm A shame about the 1994 Mark. That, the 1991, and the 1992 were my favorite Tognis from the '90s.
The 1991 is probably my favorite of the decade, though I never drank them all side by side. I have a bottle in my cellar here in Beaune that at some point I intend to use to demolish a bottle of 1990 Latour in a blind tasting.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#23 Post by Glen Gold »

William Kelley wrote: March 18th, 2020, 7:20 am
David Glasser wrote: March 17th, 2020, 10:40 pm A shame about the 1994 Mark. That, the 1991, and the 1992 were my favorite Tognis from the '90s.
The 1991 is probably my favorite of the decade, though I never drank them all side by side. I have a bottle in my cellar here in Beaune that at some point I intend to use to demolish a bottle of 1990 Latour in a blind tasting.
I've wondered how Togni stacks up against the classified growths of the '90s. My best auction purchase by far has been a case of six 1994 Togni and six 1994 Peter Michael Les Pavots. Each one of them still needs 2-3 hours in a decanter to open up. I'll need to have some friends over post-lockdown to do a compare/contrast, but those two against a 1996 Ducru is about what I can manage.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#24 Post by David Glasser »

Glen Gold wrote: March 18th, 2020, 7:26 am
William Kelley wrote: March 18th, 2020, 7:20 am
David Glasser wrote: March 17th, 2020, 10:40 pm A shame about the 1994 Mark. That, the 1991, and the 1992 were my favorite Tognis from the '90s.
The 1991 is probably my favorite of the decade, though I never drank them all side by side. I have a bottle in my cellar here in Beaune that at some point I intend to use to demolish a bottle of 1990 Latour in a blind tasting.
I've wondered how Togni stacks up against the classified growths of the '90s. My best auction purchase by far has been a case of six 1994 Togni and six 1994 Peter Michael Les Pavots. Each one of them still needs 2-3 hours in a decanter to open up. I'll need to have some friends over post-lockdown to do a compare/contrast, but those two against a 1996 Ducru is about what I can manage.
A good bottle of 1991 Togni should be awesome, though I've never had it side-by-side with top Bordeaux.
For some reason, PM Les Pavots doesn't push as many buttons for me as Togni. But a side-by-side of 1994 Les Pavots and Togni would be a blast.

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Re: Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#25 Post by dteng »

Has the style of Togni changed this past decade or still like in the 90’s?
He is one of my favorite producers in Cali.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#26 Post by William Kelley »

dteng wrote: March 18th, 2020, 7:46 am Has the style of Togni changed this past decade or still like in the 90’s?
He is one of my favorite producers in Cali.
I reckon they're a touch suppler when young but beyond that very little has changed.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#27 Post by William Kelley »

Glen Gold wrote: March 18th, 2020, 7:26 am I've wondered how Togni stacks up against the classified growths of the '90s. My best auction purchase by far has been a case of six 1994 Togni and six 1994 Peter Michael Les Pavots. Each one of them still needs 2-3 hours in a decanter to open up. I'll need to have some friends over post-lockdown to do a compare/contrast, but those two against a 1996 Ducru is about what I can manage.
I think quite competitively, especially versus the more muscular northern Médocs which are more comparable than anything else. And the 1991 Togni, especially, whenever I have drunk it, has made me think of the wine Latour should have made in the 1990 vintage.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#28 Post by MikeL238 »

Mark Golodetz wrote: March 18th, 2020, 5:28 am
David Glasser wrote: March 17th, 2020, 10:40 pm A shame about the 1994 Mark. That, the 1991, and the 1992 were my favorite Tognis from the '90s.
I am really impressed with these wines. Even the corked bottle showed plenty of promise. I think I will have to do a fairly comprehensive tasting when things settle down.

I have nothing from the 1980s apart from 1985 which I picked up from Donn Hein on Commerce Corner. If anybody has any....
Have you tried the 85? If so how was it?
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Re: Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#29 Post by William Kelley »

MikeL238 wrote: March 18th, 2020, 8:24 am
Mark Golodetz wrote: March 18th, 2020, 5:28 am
David Glasser wrote: March 17th, 2020, 10:40 pm A shame about the 1994 Mark. That, the 1991, and the 1992 were my favorite Tognis from the '90s.
I am really impressed with these wines. Even the corked bottle showed plenty of promise. I think I will have to do a fairly comprehensive tasting when things settle down.

I have nothing from the 1980s apart from 1985 which I picked up from Donn Hein on Commerce Corner. If anybody has any....
Have you tried the 85? If so how was it?
Not Mark, but the 1985 is one of the firmest, most tannic vintages of Togni that I have tasted. I last tried it in 2014.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#30 Post by Mark Golodetz »

Not tried it yet, but will soon.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#31 Post by Mark Golodetz »

Slight thread drift. My wife used a Riedel Vinum, I used a Zalto. The 1997 showed infinitely better in a Zalto.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#32 Post by k s h i n »

William Kelley wrote: March 18th, 2020, 7:54 am
Glen Gold wrote: March 18th, 2020, 7:26 am I've wondered how Togni stacks up against the classified growths of the '90s. My best auction purchase by far has been a case of six 1994 Togni and six 1994 Peter Michael Les Pavots. Each one of them still needs 2-3 hours in a decanter to open up. I'll need to have some friends over post-lockdown to do a compare/contrast, but those two against a 1996 Ducru is about what I can manage.
I think quite competitively, especially versus the more muscular northern Médocs which are more comparable than anything else. And the 1991 Togni, especially, whenever I have drunk it, has made me think of the wine Latour should have made in the 1990 vintage.
I love the 90 Latour, not as concentrated as the 90 Margaux, but very classic with a hint of the 90 ripeness. IMO, Togni still taste Cali, though classic.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#33 Post by Laurent Gibet »

I has an excellent impression with Philip Togni 1994 in a great Cali tasting (Mondavi, Phelps, Shafer, Opus One, Dominus, ...)

That was twenty years ago ... and i'd like to taste it today.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#34 Post by Nathan V. »

William Kelley wrote: March 18th, 2020, 7:53 am
dteng wrote: March 18th, 2020, 7:46 am Has the style of Togni changed this past decade or still like in the 90’s?
He is one of my favorite producers in Cali.
I reckon they're a touch suppler when young but beyond that very little has changed.
IIRC, the Estate vineyard got pierces in the mid-90s and they had to replant. I can't remember the exact details.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical

#35 Post by RandyJC »

Pat Martin wrote: March 16th, 2020, 5:18 pm How’s the 2010 of this? I won a 6 pack last year but I’ve assumed they need time, so I haven’t tried one yet.
This is several months past but I have had the 2010 twice in the last year or so and it's outstanding. I wrote a note on CT in April and I've excerpted it below.

This wine makes me want to sell my car and buy this wine with the cash. It is that good.

I opened and decanted it almost five hours before drinking. On opening and at cellar temperature the nose was barely there - tiny whiff of eucalyptus, some blackberry and that was pretty much it. At 4 hours I poured it back in to bottle and the aromatics were still muted - a soy and spice powder component that was not altogether pleasant and concerned me. At five hours and then over the next hour as the wine warmed into the mid and upper 60s the nose was phenomenal - very much a Margaux nose of leather and earth with both sweetish, tart cherry and blackberry. The nose was captivating. Now at six hours it's been making me leave wine in my glass. Just smelling - it’s not Napa. It's Left Bank.

Light-medium body and a sensuous mouth feel. Lush without being thick. Flavors are a chocolaty blackberry and a bit of tart sweet cherry but the cherry is background. Everything is in balance, nothing discordant about the wine start to finish. In the mouth and on the finish there is also tobacco, leather and earth woven in with the fruit flavors. Some purple fruit - seems like ripe ripe red plum.

Acidity is laser-focused start to finish but not prominent - just holds everything together. The acid yields only on the finish with a burst of flavors, a reprise of everything in the wine, exploding, tannin kicks in, yields to acid, mouth floods with flavor. The finish goes on nearly a minute.

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Re: Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#36 Post by J D o v e »

Togni is in my Top 10 list of favorite producers. Love the stuff. Thanks for the notes.
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Re: Philip Togni vertical with new notes

#37 Post by John S »

Nathan V. wrote: March 20th, 2020, 6:48 am
William Kelley wrote: March 18th, 2020, 7:53 am
dteng wrote: March 18th, 2020, 7:46 am Has the style of Togni changed this past decade or still like in the 90’s?
He is one of my favorite producers in Cali.
I reckon they're a touch suppler when young but beyond that very little has changed.
IIRC, the Estate vineyard got pierces in the mid-90s and they had to replant. I can't remember the exact details.
What Nathan mentions is what I recall as well as I was on the mailing list back then and visited them back around 1996/7/8. Pretty sure the '97 was the first vintage with the replaced vines. There may have been only little of 1995 or 1996 made. Early on the 1997 was a much lighter styled wine than the vintages prior to the replantings. I figured it was due to the young vines.
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