When it comes to celebrity based wines, I’m usually not a big fan. Many lend their name to a product varietal, which serves to let their fans in on something that is supposed to be secretly exclusive. Yet they normally don’t have any input because of their lack of winemaking skills, they don’t own a vineyard and therefore hire a winemaker to do all the work. At a recent dinner, I decided to order a bottle of this wine not only because it peaked my interest, but it was also one of the few affordable and interesting choices on their menu. I was immediately smitten at the first sniff and taste. Loaded with ripe dark fruit of black cherry and blackberry, its violet laden floral note with plenty of tobacco, vibrant meatiness and a touch of black pepper round out its muscular frame. Originating from the Paso Robles region of California, the blend consists of 40% Petite Sirah, 34% Zinfandel, 13% Petite Verdot, 10% Tempanillo and 3% Syrah. Rich and elegant from start to finish, the 16.2% alcohol did not dominate or over power any of its flavors. (Side note: the 2nd day after opening, a fresh herbal quality factored into an even smoother quaff) A perfect pairing for hearty fair of steak, burgers and meat lover’s pizza. A Touchdown in my book, especially at a very affordable price.