October 25, 2018

White, Red & Sweet from PlumpJack and Philip Togni

PlumpJack 2017 Chardonnay 'Reserve', Napa
Retail:  $96.95/btl  (12 btl/cs)  Only 9 cases available

Philip Togni 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain
Retail:  $265.95/btl
(12 btl/cs)  Only 10 cases available

Philip Togni 2009 Ca' Togni, Spring Mountain
Retail:  $64.95/btl  (12 x 375 mL/cs)  Only 1 case available


To Order - simply email wine@thevineagency .ca or call 416-693-7994. We'll follow up promptly to arrange delivery.


PlumpJack Chardonnay

Established in 1995 by Gordon Getty and Gavin Newsom, PlumpJack Winery quickly became a Napa icon. This 42-acre estate on the Oakville Crossroad is in the heart of California’s most prestigious Cabernet appellation, considered some of the finest vineyard land in California.  The facility where PlumpJack now makes wine was the original home of Villa Mt. Eden Winery, founded in 1881.  The great wines produced at this estate in the '70s are legendary Napa Cabernets.  Neighbours include Groth, Screaming Eagle, Silver Oak, Opus One, Rudd and Harlan.  Aaron Miller is winemaker, taking over from Tony Biagi with the 2012 vintage.  Aaron was previously at Groth, another of the iconic Napa wineries in our portfolio, and a mere stone's throw from PlumpJack, along the Oakville Crossroad.

A bit of a 'unicorn' from this heralded Cabernet producer (their only white wine), the Chardonnay grapes comes from two vineyards in the Napa Valley – one in Los Carneros and the other in St. Helena. The cooler Carneros site imparts this wine with lemon zest, green apple, and Bosc pear on the nose, while the warmer St. Helena site lends apricot, melon, and tropical notes. The Carneros vineyard also gives this wine a beautiful, bright, lively acidity, which is balanced by the creamy, rich texture of the St. Helena fruit. A very subtle touch of oak adds complexity to the nose and palate with traces of toasted almonds, vanilla, caramel, and spice. By foregoing malolactic fermentation, winemaker Aaron Miller is able to retain the bright, lively malic acid, which helps to accentuate the fruit on the palate, and gives this wine its balance, drive, and length. This is simply a gorgeous California Chardonnay.


Philip Togni Vineyard

Philip Togni leads Napa’s camp of ‘old-school’ Cabernet producers. A student of Emile Peynaud at the University of Bordeaux in the 1950s, Togni earned his Diplôme National d’Oenologie and worked at Château Lascombes.  In 1959, Philip arrived in California following a stint in Chile. He worked at Mayacamas (pre-Travers), Chalone (their 1st winemaker), Chappellet, and others through the 1960s & ‘70s. 1983 was the first vintage from Philip Togni Vineyard.His 1969 Chappellet Cabernet is a truly legendary wine, and one of the few California wines that is counterfeited – a dubious honour, I suppose, yet a testament to its status.

By the early 1990s, Togni was focusing on his now iconic ‘Margaux-style’ Cabernet Sauvignon, crafted with varying proportions of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Together with his wife Birgitta and daughter Lisa, they produce exclusively estate-bottled wines from 10 acres of vineyard on the 25-acre property where they have lived since 1975, 2000 feet above St. Helena on Spring Mountain.

Togni’s beautifully balanced Cabernets have become known for their ability to age for decades while maintaining poise, elegance and remarkable complexity. Every year, a small quantity of 10-year-old Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon is released, illustrating the ageability and drinking-timeline of the wine. Tanbark Hill is declassified in the style of a Bordeaux ‘2nd wine’. With little or no ‘press wine’ included, it’s an earlier-drinking Cab suitable for restaurants. Ca’ Togni is a sweet wine (Black Hamburgh) from a 1/4 acre parcel of old vines, inspired by the great 19th century Constantia of South Africa.

Lisa Togni joined her parents full-time in 2000, after earning an MBA, and working vintages in Bordeaux (Leoville-Barton) and Australia, as well as sales & admin roles in California. Sharing Bordeaux experience and her father’s patient, long-view, generational perspective, Lisa honours one of California’s true legacies.

To hear Geoff Kruth's interview with legendary California winemaker Philip Togni on his 60-year career—from the 1950s to the present day, click here to go to the GuildSomm podcast.


Togni Accolades

Philip Togni 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon

94 points – Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com
"A fleshy deep, wine, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate exudes richness and sheer exotic beauty from the very first taste. As always, the Togni wines need bottle age to be at their best. In 2015, time will mostly help the aromatics develop, as the tannins are quite soft for such a young wine. Expressive floral and savory notes develop with time in the glass, but the 2015 is years away from hitting its stride. It will be interesting to see where the 2015 goes in the coming years and decades. Sadly, yields are down a whopping 50%. Drink 2023-2040."

Philip Togni 2009 Ca' Togni (Black Hamburgh sweet wine)

94 points – Stephen Tanzer, Vinous.com
"(13.9% alcohol with 230 grams per liter of residual sugar; from fruit picked berry by berry): Medium red. Very deep aromas include raspberry, licorice, mocha, rose petal and black olive. Supersweet and smooth, with uncanny thickness cut by fresh acidity. Offers captivating high-toned lift to its intense flavors of raspberry liqueur, exotic spices, olive tapenade and balsamic vinegar. As in most years, this is one of California's most distinctive and satisfying sweet wines."