Parker flipped for this wine, saying “The lusciousness of this vintage is showcased by this seamless, beautifully pure and superbly crafted wine, which has an inky purple color and a big, sweet kiss of crème de cassis, blackberry, spring flowers and subtle background oak. The wine is opulent, full-bodied and majestic.” We call that an endorsement. This wine is an absolute must for your cellar.
“Futo is already one of the superstars in a competitive and formidable lineup of top wineries in Napa Valley.” – Robert Parker Back in 2017, your response to the 2013 He-li-an-thus wine was a gratifying thing to see. Here’s a young winery doing everything right, from a gifted winemaker, Jason Exposto, to an expertly farmed hillside site, and finally a backer—venture capitalist Tom Futo—who spares no expense in the cellar. Greatness can be the only result, and you responded. So imagine our delight when Jason Exposto and Jessica Futo graciously agreed to part with a handful of cases of their Futo wines, wines that are praised to the skies by the critics, and made in such small quantity that they are vacuumed up by their mailing list. Well, not all of them. When your neighbors are Harlan Estate and Bond, you must bring your “A” game on every level, from meticulous farming to perfectionist winemaking, to merciless triage in the cave. Futo aims for what they call “concentration and buoyancy,” and one of the ways they achieve this is by never using any press wine, whatsoever, so there is never a seam or a hard edge to be found on any of the wines. Act fast to secure your share of these mailing-list escapees. We acquired just a handful of cases of each of these wines, near-impossible to find outside of world-class restaurants.
A barrel sample of the 2014 Proprietary Red OVSL was a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, and the rest Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. This is a very sexy, up-front and charming wine, very much in keeping with the vintage character. It is a bit lighter and more evolved than the 2012 and 2013, but it’s still another winner from Futo. Drink it over the next 15 years.
The 2014 OV SL represents a big step up from the 2013. Powerful and yet finessed, the 2014 turns increasingly precise with time as the vibrancy of the fruit comes into focus. The flavors are dark and textured, but it is the wine's sense of poise that really elevates it into the realm of the sublime. This is another tremendous wine from Futo. For several years, the team has been engaged in elevating the OV SL to a level closer in quality to the Futo and 5500, rather than a second wine, as it was a few years ago. The 2014 is a wine where that jump in quality is evident. The percentage of Stags Leap fruit (just over 40%) is the highest so far.
Spice, dried-flower, forest-floor and mushroom character. Turns to blackcurrants and blackberries. Full-bodied and focused: pinpoint precision. So much subtle blackberry and licorice character. Velvety. Superb length and consistency. Drink in 2021.