- Producer: Futo Wines - read about the Estate
- Winemaker: Jason Exposto
- Region (AVA): Napa Valley (Stag's Leap District)
- Blend: 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot
- Vintage production: 457 cases
- Winery location: Oakville
- Owners: Tom & Kyle Futo
- First vintage: 2004
- Drinking window: 2024-2041
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 2016
“The 2016 5500 is tremendous. Powerful, dense and explosive in the glass, the 2016 possesses superb elegance from the very first taste. Crushed rocks, lavender, mint, violet and crème de cassis all run through this magnificent, super-expressive Stags Leap Cabernet. All the elements are simply in the right place. The 2016 is a positively stunning wine, arrestingly beautiful wine with tons of pedigree. Don't miss it!”
99 points, Antonio Galloni (Vinous, Dec. 2018)
“Fascinating young red with complex and subtle aromas and flavors of currants, black truffles, conifer and dark chocolate. Full-bodied yet tight and compact with amazing depth and a steely backbone of acidity and tannins. Superb finish. This needs two or three years of bottle age. Try after 2022.”
99 points, James Suckling (May, 2019)
“Another incredible wine from this estate is the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon 5500, which checks in as 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot brought up in a mix of new and used barrels. It's as seamless and elegant as it gets and offers a beautiful bouquet of creme de cassis, raspberries, smoke tobacco, new saddle leather, and ample rocky, earthy minerality. It shows slightly more blue fruits and violets notes with time in the glass, has off-the-charts purity, silky tannins, and a fabulous finish. It's a heavenly wine that's going to put on weight with 2-4 years of bottle age and cruise for two decades or more in the cellar."
98 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Jan. 2019)
“This wine comes from a vineyard planted in 1986 at 150 to 300 feet in elevation. Blended of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon 5500 comes charging out of the gate with vibrant kirsch, lavender, candied violets and mulberries scents over a blackcurrant and black cherry core plus earthy wafts of tilled soil, mossy bark and underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, the energetic red and black fruit flavors and finely framed by super ripe, grainy tannins and bold freshness, finishing very long and savory. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered. 462 cases produced.”
98 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown (The Wine Advocate, Dec. 2018)