Singer John Legend — Photo courtesy of Raymond Vineyards
John Legend’s name is synonymous with good music. If he has his way, good wine is next.
The Grammy, Golden Globe, and Oscar-winning singer, songwriter and performer is collaborating on a new artistic endeavor in Napa Valley wine country. Working with Raymond Vineyards proprietor Jean-Charles Boisset and winemaker Stephanie Putnam, the trio have created LVE: Legend Vineyard Exclusive, a collection of limited edition wines.
The LVE collection features two wines: a Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon and a Napa Valley chardonnay.
The cabernet sauvignon is a mix from three vineyards located in St. Helena, Yountville and Raymond Vineyard’s Rutherford Estate. The 15% petit verdot comes from a vineyard north of Napa.
The LVE Napa Valley chardonnay uses fruit from three vineyards in Napa: Atlas Peak, Mt. Veeder and Oak Knoll. Atlas Peak and Mt. Veeder are both dry farmed and above the fog line, giving them more hours of sunshine. The wine underwent full malolactic fermentation and was barrel-fermented for almost a year.
The LVE Napa Valley chardonnay and LVE Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon were both small production wines, so only a couple thousand cases of each were produced.
In the main tasting room at Raymond Vineyards, the LVE Napa Valley chardonnay is part of the “Taste of the Valley” flight. It’s featured along with four Raymond Estate Collection wines – the sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, merlot and cabernet sauvignon – and costs $25 per person. Tastings are complimentary for wine club members.
LVE Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon — Photo courtesy of Raymond Vineyards
The LVE Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon is also being poured in Raymond’s Crystal Cellar, as part of what’s called the “Crystal Experience.”
The new wine is featured alongside the Raymond Generations chardonnay and the Generations cabernet sauvignon as well as the vineyard’s District Collection wines. The flight is $30 per person and is also complimentary for wine club members.
Legend and Raymond are gaining a reputation for doing good things when they work together.
Over summer 2015, Legend gave an unannounced live performance of his hit song “All of Me” at Auction Napa Valley. The surprise was intended to get bidders excited about an auction lot that included a private concert by Legend for 30 people at Boisset’s home. It worked.
The evening, including dinner prepared by Raymond Vineyards Chef Michel Cornu and limited-edition etched bottles of LVE: Legend Vineyard Exclusive wines, raised $850,000 for local Napa Valley charities.
LVE wines can be purchased from Raymond Vineyards. The collection is expected to be available at retailers and restaurants across the country (including Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar) in early 2016.
The Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon sells for $85. The Napa Valley chardonnay costs $45. It is just the start of what Raymond says will be a long lasting relationship, so look for more bottles coming soon.