CJ McCollum‘s first encounter with rosé came after he was selected 10th overall in the 2013 NBA draft by the Portland Trail Blazers. Nearly a decade later, the sharpshooter is celebrating with rosé again, but this time it’s his own. After making his Willamette Valley debut last year with a 2018 Pinot Noir (which sold out in 45 minutes), he’s added a Pinot Noir rosé to his McCollum Heritage 91 lineup.
McCollum worked remotely with Adelsheim winemaker Gina Hennen to create the new 2020 rosé.
“Going through the process with Gina and the winemaking team has been a lot of fun,” McCollum told Wine Spectator. “I’m a huge strawberry lover … and from a taste standpoint, strawberry mixed with a little lemon and plush goes a long way and is really good for the palate.”
Adelsheim made 200 cases of the LIVE-certified Heritage 91 rosé, which retails for $33 (a nod to McCollum’s uniform number on the court, 3). Hennen describes the wine as having, “aromas of fresh strawberry, white peach and lemon verbena.”
As McCollum plans to expand varieties and release more wine later this year, he says other players are seeking his expertise in the business, including French wine aficionados JJ Redick and Josh Hart. The shooting guard also credited wine as having a huge impact on the court.
“[Making wine] gives me a life balance,” McCollum said. “Being able to escape basketball and share the wine with staff, friends and teammates, and tell the stories behind it, brings people together … and that’s one of the most appeasing things in the world.”
McCollum also recently joined seven other Oregon wineries, including NBA champion Channing Frye‘s Chosen Family Wines, in donating 100 percent of proceeds from one barrel of wine (about 25 cases) to the Maurice Lucas Foundation. The charity organization, which honors the late Trail Blazer and community pillar, will help make Oregon’s wine industry more accessible and inclusive for minorities by providing educational opportunities in Willamette Valley. On May 1, as part of the One Barrel Challenge initiative, Heritage 91 will be releasing a 2019 Chardonnay ($45) sourced from Adelsheim’s LIVE-certified Boulder Bluff estate vineyard.
“If it ain’t rosé tell ’em carry on …” (David Black)
Snoop Dogg and 19 Crimes Go Pink
2020 was a major year for Snoop Dogg’s wine and spirits projects. The hip-hop legend and TV chef released his own gin, as well as a California red with Australian wine brand 19 Crimes. Plus, 19 Crimes turned Snoop into one of their augmented reality “living wine labels.” But Snoop’s not finished yet: He just added a 19 Crimes Snoop Cali Rosé, a Grenache-Zinfandel blend, to the lineup.
“We did it big with 19 Crimes Cali Red, so you know we had to do it again,” said Snoop in a statement. “I was thinking pink.”
“It was Snoop’s idea to take us down the rosé path,” said Treasury Wine Estates VP of brand marketing John Wardley via email. “He called it ‘a West Coast party in a bottle—and the wine of summer!’”
Snoop and 19 Crimes have notably collabed on more than just wine. Last year, Treasury Wine Estates (19 Crimes’ parent company) pledged $100,000 to the NAACP Legal Fund to help defend protesters arrested while supporting racial and social justice causes.
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