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IN VINO ATHLETICAS

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FROM JOE MONTANA TO ERNIE ELS, THERE'S NO SHORTAGE OF ATHLETES-TURNED-VINTNERS THESE DAY S. SO WE ENLISTED FAMED SOMMELIER ALDO SOHM TO GUIDE US THROUGH THE GOOD AND THE GRAPE

CHARLES WOODSON

2013 CABERNET SAUVIGNON

NAPA VALLEY ($85)

ALDO'S NOTES: Very rich; there's a lot of cassis, which you look for in Cabernets. The tannins are fine, and they're abundant, so this has had a lot of oak treatment. The finish is a touch short because the wine requires more aging; with one or two years it will blossom. It's a classic example of a well-made, tailored Napa Cabernet by the former NFL defensive back's vineyard.

FOOD PAIRING: Steak, medium rare—it will absorb the tannins.

DOUBLEBACK

2015 CABERNET SAUVIGNON

WALLA WALLA VALLEY, WASH. ($97)

ALDO'S NOTES: There's a lot going on in this wine from ex-NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe's label—spice flavors, dark fruit, oak. It's very intriguing on the nose; you want to keep smelling it. The fruit is really smooth. Tannins are present, but they're integrated. It's a pretty wine; delicate, but it also stays with you.

FOOD PAIRING: A refined wine requires a refined dish, possibly venison.

SEAVER VINEYARDS

2010 CABERNET SAUVIGNON

NAPA VALLEY ($110)

ALDO'S NOTES: Quite jammy, this wine from Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver's winery is a crowd-pleaser. On the palate you have a fair amount of sweetness—a certain voluptuousness. There's more red-fruit than dark-fruit flavor. The oak brings hints of vanilla.

FOOD PAIRING: Grilled Wagyu beef. The high fat content will complement the fruit's sweetness.

MIRROR

2015 CABERNET SAUVIGNON

NAPA VALLEY ($85)

ALDO'S NOTES: There's a strong pine component coming through this wine from former NFL quarterback Rick Mirer, and it masks the fruit. It has more of a dark fruit—huckleberry—than a red fruit. You can taste the residual sugar. It's a very delicate, easy-drinking wine that won't require much more aging.

FOOD PAIRING: A stew or a braised short rib, which will deliver a certain sweetness.

MONTAGIA

2007 CABERNET SAUVIGNON

NAPA VALLEY ($199)

ALDO'S NOTES: This wine from NFL legend Joe Montana has aged for more than 10 years, so the primary fruit flavors have shifted to the background and its spice component has come out. It's slightly herbacious—rosemary, maybe thyme. And though it doesn't pack a fruity punch anymore, there's still so much going on. The tannins are very subtle. It stays with you on the palate.

FOOD PAIRING: Roasted leg of lamb spiked with whole cloves of garlic.

ERNIE ELS

2015 CABERNET SAUVIGNON

STELLENBOSCH, SOUTH AFRICA ($24)

ALDO'S NOTES: This is a very clean, very fruit-expressive wine. It seems to be balanced, with the oak well-integrated. The wine is fruit-dominant—very juicy, very lush. It has medium to high alcohol content, and a pretty good finish. This wine from the four-time-major-winning golfer is drinking nicely right now, but it'll be even better after another five years.

FOOD PAIRING: Roasted rack of lamb with rosemary, which will pull out the oak and vanilla flavors.