The impossible to pronounce 2013 He-li-an-thus, coming from purchased grapes, is a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 18% Petit Verdot and the rest Cabernet Franc, bottled unfined and unfiltered. Aged in Darnajou oak, this is an elegant wine, but it has serious intensity, a blue/purple color, sweet black raspberry and blueberry fruit, some forest floor and spring flowers. It is my favorite of the three vintages to date, although the 2015 has the potential to match it. Drink it over the next 20 years.
FUTO Estate is comprised of two distinct sites, 155 acres in the western hills of Oakville and 40 acres in the eastern hills of the Stags Leap District Appellation—each with approximately 13 planted acres. The foundation of excellence was firmly established with the help of luminaries such as David Abreu, Mark Aubert, and Howard Backen. Jason Exposto, who has led farming and winemaking since November of 2009, continues the pursuit of uncompromising quality.
The Oakville Estate has twenty-six delineated vineyard blocks that are planted in six different sites according to the topography, soil, and microclimate. The soils consist mainly of decomposed sandstone and shale from the ancient, uplifted seabed. Plantings consist primarily of Cabernet Sauvignon with lesser amounts of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot planted on several select sites throughout the estate.
Across the valley, planted on steeply terraced hillsides, the Stags Leap Estate was once the site of a rock quarry. Old Cabernet Sauvignon vines planted in the mid-1980s comprise most of the vineyard, accompanied by an additional four acres planted in 2015. The vines grow in fractured rhyolitic tuff, a type of rock composed of consolidated volcanic ash. The exceptionally well-drained “soil” provides ideal conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon.
FUTO Estate produces four wines from these two estate properties. The OV|SL Estate Red Wine, a chiseled blend that showcases the synergy of the two vineyard sites, is accompanied by two single-estate wines: Oakville Estate Red Wine and 5500 Stags Leap District Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Additionally, a Sauvignon Blanc is produced from a 1.2-acre block at the Stags Leap Estate.
The wines of FUTO Estate are recognized for their precision and purity of fruit expression which can only be achieved by meticulous viticulture and winemaking practices.
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