Limelight Vintage: Five Great Wines by Celebrities
Having a celebrity lend his or her face and name to a cosmetic or personal care brand is a surefire way to make it stand out in a very competitive marketplace. After all, who wouldn’t want Jennifer Aniston’s glossy mane or Halle Berry’s flawless skin, right? However, in the world of fine wines, being associated with a movie star is not always a guarantee of success. Somehow it is harder to establish a connection between beautiful teeth or even superb acting chops to a well balanced, long lived bottle of wine. But times seem to be changing. Now, these celebs are not just content to be “brand ambassadors” (think Scarlett Johansson for Moet & Chandon), they are actually out there in the vineyards, owning them, making wines that are worthy of space in your cellars and generally finding ways to prove that they are not just pretty faces.
Château Miraval Rosé 2012 (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie)
The Jolie-Pitts have done it again and no, I’m not talking about adopting a new child from a foreign land. A-list couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have created a hit wine that actually made it to Wine Spectator’s Annual Top 100 list in 2013. This celebrity couple bought a 60-hectare vineyard (part of the Chateau Miraval estate in Provence) in 2008 for a reported €40m and had their first wine (6,000 bottles of Miraval 2012 rosé) sold out in under five hours. Brad and Angelina are definitely reaping the benefits of hiring a stellar team of wine producers and marketers from the Perrin family (owners of Chateau Beaucastel) and even bringing in soil expert Claude Bourguignon. It certainly sounds like the best is yet to come for Team Brangelina and Chateau Miraval.
Signature Reserve VQA Niagara Peninsula Vidal Ice Wine 2005 (Dan Aykroyd)
Canadian actor Dan Aykroyd is probably best known for his roles in movies such as Ghostbusters or The Blues Brothers but he is also known to be a big wine fan (especially of Bordeaux). He has invested over a million US dollars in four different wineries in Canada (Diamond Estates) and released his very first Canadian Ice Wine in 2005. Granted, this dessert wine is not for everyone. But those who have a fondness for Sauternes or Hungarian Tokaji will be very happy to learn that Akroyd’s Canadian ice wine is a great and definitely less pricey alternative. This particular vintage has earned rave reviews for its fruity, honeyed flavors and refreshing acidity. It has also brought home major awards from the Ontario and Cuvee Wine Awards
Pursued by Bear 2007 (Kyle MacLachlan)
American actor and Yakima, Washington native Kyle MacLachlan did the wine world a favor when he decided to join forces with Eric Dunham of Dunham Cellars in the Columbia Valley back in 2005. The interesting wine name is from a little known Shakespearean stage direction given to actors during a play. Well, there is nothing “little known” about its 2007 vintage. This red wine garnered a 92 point rating from Wine Spectator and is a hit with fans of fruity Cabernet Sauvignon everywhere! This dark, deep and rich interpretation of the grape with plum, cherry and berry notes is definitely ready for drinking now until 2017.
Sister Moon 2009 (Sting)
Who doesn’t love Sting and Trudie, right? Well, the rock star couple gave us more reasons to love them when they invested in a fixer upper estate in Florence in 1997 called Il Palagio. The 900-acre property’s very first IGT Toscana 2008 earned major points from critics (92 points, Wine Spectator) and Sting fans alike but there was still a lot of skepticism. Well, a year later, Sister Moon 2009 proved all those doubting Thomases wrong. Longtime Italian wine expert James Suckling gave it 93 points and only had fantastic things to say about Sting’s wine hit.
“Soft and velvety with berry and milk chocolate character with a walnut undertone. Full and delicious. Dense and yummy. A blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Made from biodynamic grapes. Drink now or hold.” (jamessuckling.com)
This is no flash in the pan either. Wine experts say Sister Moon 2009 is ready to drink from 2015 all the way through 2025.
Nota Bene 1999 (Jason Priestley)
His 90210 days are obviously behind him but Jason Priestley can actually quit his day job. As part owner of award-winning Black Hills Estate Winery in Okanagan Valley, the boyishly good-looking actor is also lord over some of the best Bordeaux-style wines in Canada. While Priestley is not out there picking grapes and making wine, he is on the board of directors and is actively involved in running the winery and it’s day-to-day business operations. Nota Bene (Latin for “take note”) 1999 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc and actually helped to cement British Columbia’s place in the world’s wine map.
Celebrity-owned or not, fine wines deserve top notch storage facilities to make sure they keep for a long time. Wine collectors in Asia now have access to one such facility at the Singapore Wine Vault (SGWV). SGWV is the largest, temperature controlled wine storage in the region. Occupying an area of over 750,000 feet along Singapore’s Fishery Port Road, SGWV helps to ensure that wines are kept in the most ideal conditions. It can house up to 10 million bottles and also has a special area called The Drôme where wine collectors may also have their own specially designed private wine cellars, customized to their own specifications.