Former NFL Super Bowl Champion, All-Pro wide receiver and 1996 No. 1 draft pick Keyshawn Johnson has joined other former NFL stars including Drew Bledsoe and Terry Hoage in the winemaking business. The first release is the 2007 XIX Cabernet Sauvignon by Keyshawn Johnson from eastern Oregon portion of the Columbia Valley. Distribution began in September and the wine is priced at $125 a bottle, with about 65 cases made. Johnson has partnered on the project with R.C. Mills, a Los Angeles-based restaurant industry veteran.
The 2007 XIX was made of fruit sourced from the Echo West Vineyard and aged for 18 months in Hungarian Oak. The wine is 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. The wine is 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. 94 points.