We cannot pound the podium hard enough about He-Li-An-Thus, crafted by Futo’s winemaker Jason Exposto. It is an absolutely exquisite bottle of Cabernet, any way you slice it. Jeb Dunnuck loved the “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.” 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petit Verdot, 14% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Don’t miss out on this one.
“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.
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.
Blueberry, stone, currant and mint aromas. This is really layered and fantastic. Detailed. Full-bodied yet fresh and intense. Love the stone, currant and bark flavors. Needs two to three years of bottle age.
Moving to the 2015s and 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.