- 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: 447 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 2018
“Aromas of stone, pine needle and bark with blackcurrant and blackberry. Full-bodied with wonderfully concentration, yet it remains so refined and beautiful. So long with incredible forest-floor, light chocolate and wet-earth complexity at the finish. Blend of 92% cabernet sauvignon and 8% merlot. Unfined and unfiltered. So attractive now, but better in 2026.”
99 points, James Suckling (Feb. 2021)
“Coming from the cooler Stags Leap region, the 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon 5500 is one of the more perfumed, complex wines in the lineup, but this is common for wines from this appellation. Based off mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with a splash of Merlot, it offers a smorgasbord of red and blue fruits intermixed with notes of spring flowers, spice, loamy earth, cured meats, and cedar. Rich, full-bodied, and concentrated on the palate, it has terrific overall balance, lots of ripe tannins, and a great, great finish. As with all of these 2018 from the team Futo, it needs bottle age. Give bottles 4-5 years if you can and enjoy over the following 30+.”
98+ points, Jeb Dunnuck (Jan. 2021)