- Producer: Futo Wines - read about the Estate
- Winemaker: Jason Exposto
- Region (AVA): Napa Valley (Stag's Leap District)
- Blend: 92% Cabernet Sauvignon. 8% Merlot
- Vintage production: 376 cases
- Winery location: Oakville
- Owners: Tom & Kyle Futo
- First vintage: 2004
- Drinking window: 2025-2058
About The Wine
In the Southeast corner of the Stags Leap District, the vineyards of the 5500 Estate are located on the site of what was once a rock quarry. There is little topsoil and the vines grow from shattered rhyolitic tuff, a type of rock consisting of consolidated volcanic ash. These steep terraced hillsides planted in 1986 are exceptionally well drained and the Cabernet Sauvignon vines produce small, intensely flavored berries. Between 150-300 feet in elevation the vineyards enjoy cool foggy mornings, but with a western exposition, there is sunshine long into the evening. The site’s particular formulation of soil, temperature, fog, and sunshine results in a wine that has the unique quality of being massively scaled but surprising approachable in texture.
Reflecting its rocky volcanic hillside origins, the FUTO 5500 Stags Leap District Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is massively scaled but retains superb purity and energy. A timeless wine that resonates with refinement.
Futo Wines began in 2002 when Tom and Kyle Futo purchased Oakford Vineyards. Oakford, a 40 acre property with 7 acres of vineyard, had been established in the 80’s. In 2004, an adjoining 117 acre parcel was added to the property, of which 6 acres were planted to vineyard under the direction of David Abreu and winemaker Mark Aubert.
Next, architect Howard Backen was called upon to design the winery. The winery was completed in time to receive the 2008 harvest. Also that year, Jason Exposto was hired to manage the day-to-day winemaking. By 2010, full winemaking responsibilities were handed to Jason. Late in 2011, the Futos completed the purchase of a property in the eastern hills of Stags Leap District. This 40 acre property included a 9 acre Cabernet vineyard planted in 1986.
FUTO 5500 Stags Leap District Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
“From the Stags Leap property, about 400 cases of the flagship wine, the Futo 5500, are produced. The 2013 Futo 5500 is 92% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Merlot, aged 19 to 20 months in Taransaud new oak barrels. A fabulous nose of violets, blackberries, sweet black cherries, blackcurrants and flowers is followed by an elegant, pure, full-bodied, seamlessly constructed beauty. What’s interesting about this wine is its incredible elegance and seamlessness, tasting like the haute couture of the vineyard. It is a fabulous, and of course, there’s no Cabernet Franc in it, unlike the Oakville, and has a much higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink it over the next 25-30 years.”
99 points, Robert Parker (The Wine Advocate, Oct. 2016)