Philip Togni Tanbark Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
The terrific 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Tanbark Hill, a second label composed of declassified fruit, suggests the declassification may have been too strict in this vintage. It possesses a dense purple color as well as a sweet nose of cedar, smoke, white chocolate, blackberries, and cassis. Ripe, expansive, and precocious, it should be at its peak of drinkability between 2010 and 2025. If this is a second wine, let me tell you about all the green leprechauns Iâ€™ve met! As a postscript, I want to acknowledge a wine Philip Togni produced early in his career at Chappellet, the 1969 Cabernet Sauvignon. Recently, one of my dearest friends, Dr. Jay Miller, was feting his 60th birthday, and brought a bottle of this wine along with a collection of profound museum pieces. Togniâ€™s â€˜69 may be one of the greatest California Cabernet Sauvignons I have ever tasted. Every bottle I have had seems to get better and better. This 36-year-old wine tastes like a 14- or 15-year-old adolescent except for the extraordinary soaring aromatics of creme de cassis, spice box, incense, and cedar. In the mouth, itâ€™s gorgeously fresh, full-bodied, super-concentrated, and revealing no signs of age. It is both a monument to California Cabernet Sauvignon and an homage to a feisty British-born winemaker who continues to turn out some of the worldâ€™s most interesting wines.