LeBron James has some strong opinions on food. He also has some pretty solid takes on wine. King James has been dropping some serious bottles on Instagram for a while now. And let it be said, the monarch knows his wine.
We poured over James’ Instagram to see what our favorite all-star has been drinking and came up with a list of some seriously heavy hitting wines. Of course, James is a gazillionaire. So some of these bottles come with a hefty price tag. That doesn’t mean you can’t find new vintages from the same vineyards. Because, hell, we all wanna be a little baller sometimes — and sipping on the same wine LeBron James drinks is a good start.
Let’s dive in!
SASSICAIA 1990 and 1988
Deep in Tuscany, there’s a small family run vineyard called Tenuto San Guido where Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes are cultivated in the Bordeaux style. That is, old school French fruit combined with old school Tuscan craftsmanship. Sassicaia is such a special and specific wine that the vineyards around Bolgheri — which includes Tenuto San Guido — has its very own DOC appellation, meaning Sassicaia can only come from that small corner of Tuscany.
The wine is peaking right now. That means all its flavors are at their best. Expect good hits of plum, blackberry, and ripe grape with fleeting hints of clove, tobacco, cumin, and balsam. It’s a spectacular glass from a spectacular region.
This one comes from the Colgin IX Estate Vineyard in the illustrious Napa Valley. The 20-acre vineyard sits above 1000 ft. in the Pritchard Hill area of St. Helena. It’s an idyllic location with volcanic soil nestled between sweeping green hills.
Colgin 2010 is a young wine that has a wonderfully dark fruit, licorice, anise, and dried herb with smooth hints of oak right now. The wine is a blend of 63 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 percent Merlot, eleven percent Cabernet Franc, and six percent Petit Verdot. You can also snag a bottle and store for a the next 15 to 20 years to let all those nuances mellow into an old library of velvety, smoky, and worn-leather delight of grapes and tannins.
OPUS ONE 2004
Opus One has a heavy-hitting lineage. It’s a collaboration between Bordeaux’s Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Napa’s Robert Mondavi. Everything about this wine is meant to be the best representation of Bordeaux standards and Napa grapes. It’s one of the more popular wines ever made and has a price tag to back that up.
The bottles from 2004 are balancing between young and aged right now. There are still shadows of the dark plums and cherries driving the taste. But that fruity darkness is starting to turn to dried spices and earthen undertones that come along with age.
A 2004 vintage is going to set you back at least $335, if you’re lucky. Even the younger 2014s are around $300. Opus One also makes Overture with the grapes that were deemed not quite good enough for the Opus One. Those bottles are a great introduction to the vineyard and will set you back closer to $100.
Staglin Family Vineyard is a small, sustainable operation in Rutherford in the shadow of Mount St. John in Napa Valley. The vineyard was able to switch over to solar and wind power electricity, they also built a new facility into the mountain to create a naturally climate controlled atmosphere for making wines.
LeBron’s beloved Booth Bella Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon is a testament to their ingenuity and the mild climate of Napa. Expect serious notes of ripe raspberries, boysenberries, and tart redcurrants. Underneath you’ll get hints of sandalwood, anise, nutmeg, and cocoa. It’s a complex drink of wine.
CHÂTEAU PONTET-CANET 2009
Chateau Pontet-Canet sits in the middle of the Pauillac region of France. The vineyard is a classic Bordeaux operation that’s the definition of old world French wines.
They produce a blend of 62 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 32 percent Merlot, and six percent Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Expect a jammy mix of violet flowers, ripe blackberries, cedar bark, and a mild oak smoothness. The limestone heavy dirt imparts a slight mineral texture to wine as well.
ALZERO CABERNET 2007
Alzero was made by the indelible Giuseppe Quintarelli on his estate vineyard north of Verona in the Valpolicella region. Quintarelli used to hand write the labels himself until he passed in 2012. So these are spectacularly special bottles of wine.
The Cabernet is a blend of about eight different grapes all harvested and processed at their peak perfection. Quintarelli’s unique drying technique gives this wine an intense palate. Expect big hits of plum and figs followed by a fresh herbal bouquet. It’s a big wine with a big body and a lot of alcohol.
You’re going to spend around $350 per bottle on this one. There’s no way around it.