NFL Super Bowl Champion, All-Pro wide receiver and 1996 number one draft pick Keyshawn Johnson has joined other NFL greats like Drew Bledsoe and Terry Hoage in the winemaking business. Johnson has partnered on this project with R.C. Mills, a Los Angeles restaurant industry veteran.
The first release is the 2007 XIX Cabernet Sauvignon from the Eastern Oregon area of the Columbia Valley. The label features an image of the Greek god Hermes who was known as the messenger of the gods as well as a patron of athletics.
The wine is made of fruit sourced from Echo West Vineyard and is aged for 18 months in Hungarian Oak. Opaque purple in color, the nose is rich and plush with aromas of warm blackberry cobbler. Currants, cassis, plums, spice box and blackberry liqueur on the palate. Lush, silky and hedonistic. Fine grained tannins and an exquisite finish bode well for the future of this Cabernet. If you secure a few bottles for your cellar I suspect they will age effortlessly for at least a decade. A stunning first release.
My rating: 94 points
Distribution began in September with a production of 65 cases, and the wine is priced at $125 a bottle. The wine is currently available via the mailing list and at select retail.
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