Philip Togni's bottles become exquisite collector items as they withstand the test of time in the cellar. So, when I come across a genuinely traditional Napa Cabernet of this profundity, I’m filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and respect.
A student of Émile Peynaud at the Université de Bordeaux in the 1950s, Philip began his career at Second Growth Margaux estate, Château Lascombes; in 1959, he and his wife, Birgitta moved to Napa inspired by the wines of Margaux. Here, Togni worked at a number of prestigious estates (Mayacamas, Chalone, Chappellet) before founding his own, and solidified his status among the best winemakers in Napa after creating the 1969 Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon: considered to this day to be one of the greatest wines ever created in the region.
In 1975 Philip Togni and his wife, Birgitta purchased and began growing grapes on a 25-acre estate, tucked away 2,000ft above the town of St. Helena at the top of Spring Mountain. Their first vintage was 1983, and by the early 1990s Togni was focusing on his now-iconic Margaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a small amount of Petit Verdot. Together with Birgitta and their daughter, Lisa, they produce exclusively estate-bottled wines.
Lisa joined her parents in 2000. Sharing Bordeaux experience (at Léoville Barton) and Philip’s patient, generational perspective, Lisa honours one of California’s true legacies.