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10 Surprising Celebrity Winemakers


The famous never seem satisfied with just one gig (Gwyneth sings and cooks! James Franco writes short stories and paints!). And the non-famous can't help but scrutinize the stars for their alter talents—or lack thereof. But celebrity oenophelia is the place where good taste can be assessed literally: Is Fergie meant to ferment? Will AC/DC's Shiraz keep you sipping all night long? We decided to find out. Read on for a roundup of wines made by famous actors, musicians, and even a porn star.

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(1) AC/DC
Rock fans can't miss the guitar-playing Angus Young on the label (pictured), but there's more here than just a vanity project; the 2011 Back in Black Shiraz ($18), made by Warburn Estate in Australia, is for wine lovers, too. Look for notes of juicy black cherries and plums (and fresh oregano) in this medium-bodied sipper from the Riverina region—with a great chocolatey, spicy, peppery finish.
warburnestate.com

• • •

(2) Drew Barrymore
The actress's eponymous white wine from Italy's Veneto region—2011 Barrymore Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie I.G.T. ($19)—is fresh with the scent of daffodils and apples, but the flavor fades fast.
barrymorewines.com

• • •

(3) Drew Bledsoe
The former New England Patriots quarterback turned grape stomper scores with his 2009 Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon ($90) from Washington State. Cab fans will dig the notes of sticky cassis, blackberry, and fig, with a nice allspice finish and slightly grainy tannins that leave you wanting more.
doubleback.com

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(4) Andrea Bocelli
As it turns out, Bocelli's family has been making wine for generations in Italy, so it's not so odd that the tenor would turn to the vine. With help from his winemaker brother Alberto, he's producing an NV Prosecco ($19) that has an apple-centric nose, fine bubbles, and biscuity notes on the palate.
bocellifamilywines.com

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(5) Emilio Estevez
The ex-Brat Packer planted his own vines in Malibu in 2004. He and his winemaker wife launched Casa Dumetz in 2008, crafting Viognier, Syrah, Grenache, and Pinot Noir from organically farmed grapes. Try the 2010 Casa Dumetz Clementina Viognier ($27); it's heady and full-bodied with floral aromas and flavors of ripe pears, peach, and vanilla bean.
casadumetzwines.com

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(6) Fergie
The Black Eyed Peas star owns a wine label with the regal-sounding name Ferguson Crest, but her initial releases aren't all hits. The 2009 Syrah was unbalanced and clunky. The 2011 Viognier ($22.50, not yet released last we checked), on the other hand, boasts a creamy texture, notes of lemon-meringue pie and shortbread, and zingy Meyer lemon on the finish.
fergusoncrest.com

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(7) Adrian Grenier
Does this actor's organic red—sustainably farmed in Paso Robles, California—deserve an entourage? We think so: The blend ($25) of 50 percent Syrah, 27 percent Grenache, 18 percent Mourvedre, and 5 percent Tempranillo in his "SHFT House Wine" yields black-cherry and plum flavors, chewy tannins, and a chocolatey finish.
shft.com

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(8) Dave Matthews
Rock star Matthews established his first winery, Blenheim Vineyards, in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2000. He's since teamed up with Simi winemaker Steve Reeder to make Dreaming Tree wines—a California-centric label. The price is right for the simple Zin-Merlot blend in the 2009 "Crush" ($15) named for his famed hit. It's got a fruit-forward nose of ripe, juicy, black plums, cherries, and baking spice.
dreamingtreewines.com

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(9) Natalie Oliveros
Oliveros—better known by her alter-ego porn name, Savanna Samson—has created Italian wines that critic Robert Parker famously praised. Her 2007 La Fiorita Brunello di Montalcino ($45) is elegant and balanced, with black-cherry and blackberry fruit, notes of mint, clove spice on the finish, and fine tannins to balance it all.
fattorialafiorita.it

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(10) Kurt Russell
Working with California's Ampelos Cellars, the self-described Pinot-phile creates Oscar-worthy wines like the 2009 Gogi Bosty Boy Pinot Noir ($75), which has a nose of cherries and tobacco.
ampeloscellars.com

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—Amy Zavatto


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