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Futo (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2009

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • WS94
0% ABV
  • RP98
  • V97
  • RP99
  • WS91
  • RP97
  • V98
  • RP97
  • WS93
  • WS96
  • RP95
  • RP98
  • WS97
  • RP95
  • WS91
  • WS96
  • RP95
  • RP99
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Winemaker Notes

The inky purple-colored 2009 FUTO is a formidable wine. Aromas lead off with a liqueur of blueberries and blackberries, creosote and florals. There is sensational richness but plenty of purity. Cabernet Sauvignon flavors dominate in the mouth with cassis, cedar and sweetened coffee. In its youth this wine seems to weave effortlessly between brooding and sensual. The brooding element will likely fade with 3-5 years of bottle age leaving a long-lived sensual beauty.

Blend: 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 6% Petit Verdot

Critical Acclaim

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WS 94
Wine Spectator
Pointedly rich and concentrated, this weaves intense blackberry, dark berry fruit and plum notes, with gutsy tannins that impart a chewy edge. Seems to be a more-restrained Futo, true to the milder vintage. Ends with a fresh cigar box taste. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2014 through 2026.
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Futo
Futo, Napa Valley, California
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Futo Wines was established in 2002 by Tom and Kyle Futo of Wichita, Kansas. The Futo estate vineyards and winery are located in the western foothills of the Oakville appellation. There are five distinct estate vineyard blocks that span more than half a mile along the hillside. Cabernet Sauvignon is the predominating varietal, though several acres consist of Cabernet Franc, as well as a bit of Merlot and Petit Verdot. Since 2005, the best fruit from the estate is vinified, culminating in a wine they simply call "Futo."

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

DOB108247_2009 Item# 108247