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Green Bay's Charles Woodson Goes Long on Price With His Wine

Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson has been making the rounds this week, sharing his winery's TwentyFour Cabernet Sauvignon with Dallas drinkers.

Woodson's already appeared at Ocean Prime, Veritas and Kenichi.

Celebrity wines aren't unusual: Martha Stewart, Lil Jon, Peggy Fleming and Vince Neil are among the many stars who've lent their names to labels. What distinguishes Woodson's project is the price his wine fetches: While former Soprano's star Lorraine Bracco sold her first wines for about $12, Woodson's wine retails for $150.

Chris Potestio, Central Market's beer and wine business development manager, attributes the price partly to scarcity: Woodson's Napa Valley winery, overseen by Robert Mondavi vet Rick Ruiz, plans to issue fewer than 700 cases of TwentyFour.

According to tasting notes for the 2006 vintage, posted on the company's website, the Cabernet "reveals dark fruit overtones framed by cedar and spice nuances" and has a finish marked by "increasing intensity, velvety tannin, and persistence" (which, minus the tannin part, may be the same characteristics that helped Woodson win the Heisman Trophy as a University of Michigan Wolverine.)

Still, is the wine -- and Woodson's name -- worth $150 to a serious oenophile? Unlike the regular $6 Shiraz drinker who picks wines according to the animals on their labels, $150 Cabernet drinkers seem less likely to be swayed by novelty.

Potestio suspects many TwentyFour buyers are more interested in football than wine. While Potestio is too diplomatic to say so, he implies the wine's most popular with buyers who would ante up $150 for anything Woodson made, liked and signed, whether it was wine, a picnic table or a cable-knit sweater.

"It's for the ultimate fan," Potestio says.


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