Soda Canyon (winery in Oakville at Futo)
Jessica Futo and Jason Exposto
About The Estate:
The Four Corners Wine team tried a lot of wine while they were over in Napa in April 2017 and made sure that we got as up to date on new projects as possible. One of these great new projects is He-li-an-thus from Jessica Futo and winemaker Jason Exposto.
Futo Estate itself is one of the best-performing wineries of the last decade and very much towards the ‘Grand Cru’ end of the spectrum. Jessica is owner Tom Futo’s youngest daughter and she’s teamed up with his winemaker Jason, and together produce their own wine from a tiny 1.6 hectare estate in Soda Canyon. Helianthus is Latin for Sunflower; the inspiration for the name came from the beautiful and unmistakable floral note in the air around the site.
It stuck with us as one of the wines of the trip and really caught us off guard. Deep concentration of fruit, almost marine-like minerality with an overlaying nose of meadow flowers and an incredible structure amazing structure. The ‘14 was perhaps a touch more elegant and the ‘13 a little more showy (i.e. brilliant vintage-definition).
The wine is beautifully made and both vintages have an exceptionally long finish: for us, it’s definitely something to have in the cellar. Less than 500 cases are produced and these are the first two vintages so you’d be getting into their story right at the beginning. It’s worth noting that it’s made at Futo’s state-of-the-art winery so no expense in spared!
They only distribute in 5 States currently and we are the only people outside of the US to have direct-access.
Jason first saw the Redhead vineyard in Soda Canyon, and realised its great potential
he-li-an-thus is the Latin name for Sunflower
It's Jessica and Jason's first project together in Napa
Jason uses 500 and 600 litre barrels, unusual for Napa. They impart a much more delicate oak-influence, allowing the wine to shine through
Looking due west across the Redhead vineyard