ICYMI – Klay Thompson World Champion Basketball + Nolan Arenado 10x Gold Glove Baseball = INAUGURAL KILLER NAPA CABERNET

Four-time NBA champion Klay Thompson and ten-time Gold Glove winner Nolan Arenado are rookies again—this time in the wine business. They’ve just released their first vintage of Diamond & Key Napa Cabernet, made by Nickel & Nickel winemaker Joe Harden and in partnership with Thompson and Arenado's wealth manager, Joe McLean.

"I'm always very hesitant about celebrity brands, being a winemaker and someone that's super passionate about making wine," Harden told Wine Spectator. "But if you want to understand the process, let's do it the right way and go find interesting fruit, start small and put quality over everything." Harden even advised Thompson and Arenado that they could collaborate with a bigger winery if all they wanted to do was taste a barrel of wine and put their label on it.

But Thompson's passion for wine runs deeper than that. His interest started in 2017, when California wildfires ravaged Napa and Sonoma counties. Thompson partnered with the North Bay Relief Fund and helped raise more than $10 million for victims, meeting with winemakers, including Harden, in the process.

"Learning about the winemaking process and the dedication, commitment and patience it takes to bring it all together reminds me of the game I've played all of my life," Thompson told Wine Spectator. "Building Diamond & Key with family and friends and learning together makes it even better."

"It’s not just about trying [wine], but also appreciating all the little things that come with making a quality wine," said Arenado. "It’s an obvious challenge because I don’t know all of it, but just like baseball it’s a challenge and it’s something I’m willing to work at."

The grapes for the 2018 Diamond & Key Cabernet Sauvignon (175 cases made) came from Panek Vineyard (also used by Puldio Walker, etc), which Harden was introduced to by Thomas Rivers Brown.

By Shawn Zylberberg Wine Spectator

Diamond & Key 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon “Panek Vineyard” Napa Valley
Use code DK18CS during checkout

The wine offers up a deep dark color. On the nose layered aromas of black stone fruits and chocolate jump out of the glass. The wine is dense and full-bodied, but elegant, and it is loaded with black stone fruits, cocoa, cassis, and a hint of plum. The wine finishes with great intensity and a long silky finish.

Winemaker Notes: “The 2018 Diamond & Key Cabernet Sauvignon is a single-vineyard wine from the famous Panek Vineyard and is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Planted in 2004, the Panek Vineyard sits in the heart of St. Helena AVA in Napa Valley. This gravelly loam soil produces wines of great intensity with smooth supple tannins.”

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