November 26, 2022 | Julius Orth
If you are unfamiliar with winery futures programs, here is a brief description of how they work, and how the futures at Ektimo are quite unique.
It the most basic sense, wine futures are a "layaway" program. The practice to sell wine before it’s bottled, commonly known as en primeur or wine futures is a rapidly growing segment in California wine country, and has a well established history in Bordeaux. One of the primary motivating factors in such programs is Barrel Tasting, where you get to preview the quality and characteristics of a wine via sampling from the barrel, evaluate the personality of the wine and project what you anticipate the finished product to be like once it has completed its its metamorphosis, and been bottled and aged to perfection. Unless there is a proven history of consistent outstanding quality, each of these opportunities is a leap of faith, a vote of confidence, and ultimately an opportunity to secure some extremely limited releases before they go mainstream.
Depending on the winery program and the individual wines involved, some of these opportunities require patience and lots of imagination. For instance when sampling the wines of Bordeaux, or perhaps some of the more robust California Cabernet Sauvignon, the rustic barrel samples may be tight, astringent, tannic and very austere. It takes a trained palate to recognize the special qualities hidden within such gems, they are often 12 to 24 months away from being bottled, and sometimes years away from their prime. This being the case, it is a tall order to be asked to invest a substantial sum in advance, being asked to wait 18 months before the wine is bottled and shipped, and then holding that wine for another 2-3 years to reveal the finer qualities of a potentially magnificent wine. Even the most learned aficionado would be hesitant with such an endeavour unless there is some significant pedigree like Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Cheval-Blanc, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Opus One, Williams Selyem or Kosta Browne.
At Ektimo Winery, our approach to futures is a little different. Understanding the desire for instant gratification that is prevalent in the current consumer market, we embrace an approach that delivers rapid fire satisfaction. I have the enviable task of screening our collection of barreled wines, evaluating the qualities of a select few, selecting first class products to present at barrel tasting, and with a targeted turnaround of less than six months. What you sample from the Barrel at our unique industry leading tableside barrel tasting is already an approachable gem, resplendent with brilliant appeal, yet with the promise of further greatness on the horizon.
As an added bonus, many of our futures offerings come with the option to customize a label with a name or special message. Such is the case with our latest offering.
Currently on offer at futures at the winery, we have a special and unique rendition of 2021 Lodi Zinfandel. Check your preconceived notions of Lodi Zinfandel at the door with this one. What would typically be regarded as a full bodied, robust, intense, jammy, peppery, spicy Zinfandel is so not all that. Younger vines, sustainably farmed in the Clements Hills area benefitting from cooler eveningsgives us a delectable, bright perky little number that is a wine for all seasons.
Brilliant "Perfection redcurrant" and "Marasca Cherry" with the faintest wisp of juniper berry and "Pink Pearl Apple", it is juicy and vibrantly fruit forward with a delicate sprinkling of "Vietnamese Black Pepper" and a finish of "Keemun Tea". Ripe, rambunctious and ready to go, this is a wine to be enjoyed early and often. A very limited quantity of 70 cases will be bottled, and with a little planning your customized label proudly read "Ektimo 2021 Lodi Zinfandel, bottled for (your name)" or "The Crazy Daisy Collection", or whatever irreverent comments you choose (no insults or profanities).
First offering at the beginning of November, with a bottling scheduled in early December, the future is arriving fast for this one, so no long wait time, no forgotten purchase from the distant past, this wine is the future offering the instant gratification we all crave. It can be ordered online on this site by just "Clicking Here". Orders are by the case (or multiple cases) only, and for the vote of confidence it is offered at 50% off retail price.
So, when it comes to futures, at least at Ektimo, the future is now.