The 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon has to be one of the great buys left for profound Napa Cabernet... 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. (RP)
Togni’s 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon presented a pretty similar profile, but with more textural richness and volume and fewer of the savory notes found in the 1994. Most people preferred the 1997, and I have to agree. The 1994 would have been the best wine on the table virtually in any other dinner, but then the 1997 arrived and conquered the heart, intellect and palate with its superb balance and overall sense of harmony. What a wine! (AG)
*** Cellar Selection *** 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. (JL)
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