From tequila to wine, celebrities have long been involved in the beverage alcohol industry. Joining the list is NBA star Carmelo Anthony, who recently announced the launch of his own wine brand, VII(N) – The Seventh Estate, in a partnership with Stéphane Usseglio, a third-generation winemaker from Rhône, France.
The 10-time NBA All-Star has certainly made a name for himself on the court, but off the court, he’s just as impressive as a wine connoisseur. Melo has always been known as the player who would opt for a glass of red or white at the bar post-game rather than the cocktail or beer many expect a sports star to order. In fact, in a recent interview with Haute Living, Anthony jokes about his teammates calling him “bougie” for his love of fine wine. “For years I’d be drinking wine, and the guys would be like, ‘What are you drinking that for? Have a shot!’ I’d be like, ‘I’ll take that later, but right now, I’m drinking wine.’” However, with the help of other basketball legends like LeBron James, Chris Paul, and Kevin Love, Anthony has led a new group of basketball players — the likes of Devin Booker, Bam Adebayo, and Josh Hart — on their own journeys to becoming wine connoisseurs.
Now, the three-time Olympic gold medalist will have the opportunity to share his love of wine with the world with his own wine label. Available for purchase this fall, Oath of Fidelity, a Châteauneuf-du-Pape, will captain the wine label’s maiden voyage as a vintage blend stemming from Melo’s admiration for the Southern Rhône region. The name itself pays homage to one of Anthony’s personal heroes, François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture — a Haitian general, revolutionary, and leading force behind the fight for Haitian independence from France in the 1800s — who asked his soldiers to promise to fight for freedom, even at the risk of their own lives.
VII(N) – The Seventh Estate Châteauneuf-du-Pape Oath of Fidelity is a blend consisting of 90 percent Grenache and 10 percent Mourvèdre almost entirely sourced from 80-year-old vines from the Le Mourre du Gaud vineyard. Fermented in concrete vats with native yeast, the wine is then aged for two years in both concrete and oak barrels.
200 cases of Oath of Fidelity have been produced, and the wine is expected to launch sometime this fall. In the meantime, fans of Melo and wine alike can tune into his podcast “What’s in Your Glass?” for conversations with celebrities like Tiffany Haddish and Leon Bridges as Anthony aims to welcome more people of color into the wine community.