- Producer: he-li-an-thus - read about the Estate
- Winemaker: Jason Exposto
- Region (AVA): Soda Canyon (Napa Valley)
- Blend: 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc
- Vintage production: 203 cases
- Winery location: Oakville (Futo)
- Owners: Jessica Futo & Jason Exposto
- First vintage: 2013
- Drinking window: 2020-2040
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.
"A blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, the deeply colored 2017 He-Li-An-Thus is still primary and juicy, with a rich, ripe bouquet of blue fruits, cassis, candied violets, and plums. Full-bodied, rounded, and sexy, it's one of the most opulent and sexy wines in the vintage. It still has terrific freshness and elegance, as well as purity. Drink it over the coming 20 years or more."
94 points, Jeb Dunnuck (Jan. 2020)
"Aromas of berries and citrus with hints of sweet tobacco and fresh herbs. Medium to full body. Creamy tannins with freshness and brightness. Juicy undertones. Delicious. Why wait on this?"
96 points, James Suckling (May 2019)