- Producer: he-li-an-thus - read about the Estate
- Winemaker: Jason Exposto
- Region (AVA): Soda Canyon (Napa Valley)
- Blend: 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 19% Petit Verdot, 7% Cabernet Franc
- Vintage production: 232 cases
- Winery location: Oakville (Futo)
- Owners: Jessica Futo & Jason Exposto
- First vintage: 2013
- Drinking window: 2018-2038
About The Wine
he-li-an-thus is a single vineyard wine crafted by Jason Exposto and Jessica Futo. Located in an unmarked territory (AVA), Ed and Jan Brown’s vineyard in the southern Napa Valley foothills displays all of the virtues of distinction - exposition, exposure, climate, and complexity of soil.
On extremely rocky volcanic soils, at an elevation of 300ft at the southern end of the valley, the site experiences huge diurnal shifts in temperature, with very cool foggy mornings. But with a southwestern exposition, it is bathed in sunshine long into the evening. The resulting wine is singular in its three dimensional aromatics, and concentrated yet ethereal frame.
To capture the essence of the site, Jason believes that the vines and soil must receive lavish care and attention. Meticulous pruning, precise canopy work, use of compost tea preparations, and low yields are all practiced in tune with the rhythm of the growing season. At harvest, the fruit is picked over numerous passes based on physiological ripeness, regardless of variety. The composition of each individual co-fermentation is not predetermined, and varies dependent on vintage character. In the cellar, the fruit is sorted and fermented in small lots using native yeast. Each lot is barreled down into custom large format tight grained oak, as well as clay/ceramic vessels. Then aged on lees (with no racking), before being blended and bottled with no fining or filtration.
"From a single vineyard off the Old Soda Spring road (this is purchased fruit, yet the farming is managed by the Futo team), the 2015 He-Li-An-Thus has beautiful purity and complexity in its floral, cassis, blueberry, spice and rose petal-scented bouquet. This carries to a full-bodied, ripe, unctuous beauty that has sweet tannin and a great, great finish. It can be enjoyed today or cellared for 15-20 years."
96 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Dec. 2017)
"Another blockbuster is the super-concentrated 2015 he-li-an-thus. A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petit Verdot, 14% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, it is deep, rich, concentrated, fat and succulent, with terrific intensity, richness. It could well turn out to be as successful as the 2013. Unfortunately, only 400-500 cases were made in 2013 and 2014, and because of the small crop, a mere 200 cases were produced in 2015."
94-96 points, Robert Parker (Dec. 2016)