Acclaimed rapper, actor, entertainer, and entrepreneur Ja Rule has added another occupation to his multihyphenated existence with the release of his Rose Vine Cellars 2019 The Red Rose Cabernet Sauvignon, a limited-edition offering from Sonoma County’s Alexander Valley. Made by winemaker Ross Reedy, who honed his craft in cellars and vineyards in Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and Napa Valley before returning home to Alexander Valley, this 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon from 60-year-old vines sees 24 months in French Oak before release.
Before making his own red wine, Ja Rule was a white wine afficionado whose tastes leaned towards Italian Pinot Grigio and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Although he still finds the tannins of many red wines too harsh for his palate, Rule enjoys drinking his new creation, which he likes to bring to Peter Luger in Brooklyn and pair with steak. Deep garnet to the eye, it has aromas of red plum, raspberry and graphite and offers ripe cherry, raspberry, pie crust and vanilla flavors. Made in an elegant, restrained style, The Red Rose has polished tannins and a nice splash of brightness on the finish.
The names Rose Vine Cellars and The Red Rose signify, in Rule’s words, “giving people their flowers,” which translates to handing out praise and respect, and is frequently used in the worlds of hip hop and professional sports. Rule explains, “It means you’re letting someone know they’re legendary, iconic, they’ve done amazing things, or they’re just an amazing soul. I wanted to embody that message through my bottles of wine.” Traditionally, red roses are given as an expression of love, white roses for friendship, and pink as an expression of gratitude. With that in mind, white and rosé wines are in the planning stages for future Rose Vine Cellars releases. The brand is also adding a tequila called Concrete Rose, and Rule is working on a whiskey called Amber & Opal through another business partnership.
Rule credits Wines That Rock, a wine producer that partners primarily with bands but also with brands, for connecting him and Reedy. He originally intended to make a white wine, but when he explained to the Wines That Rock team that he had yet to encounter a red that he loved, they suggested he make one of his own and then introduced him to Reedy. He praises Reedy’s grape-sourcing and winemaking skills and is extremely pleased with their initial bottling, telling Robb Report, “That’s a testament to two people having a conversation and sitting down to figure out the process behind creating this amazing wine that we have now brought to the world.”
The initial release of Rose Vine Cellars 2019 The Red Rose Cabernet Sauvignon is available in two different bottlings. The original red wax-dipped bottle retails for $100, while an autographed bottle sells for $150, with the two being offered as a set for $250. Rule tells Robb Report that there’s no difference between what’s inside the bottle, explaining, “I just wanted my fans to have a signature, autographed bottle as a keepsake, so that’s why I released those limited-edition bottles. You can drink the wine and keep the bottle, or not drink the wine and keep it as a souvenir keepsake.” Although we are often wary of “celebrity” wine brands, especially one from a company whose other labels include Elvis Presley, The Grateful Dead, Tetris, and Downton Abbey, having tasted this one for ourselves, we can assure you that between vineyard sourcing, Reedy’s winemaking skills, and Ja Rule’s direction, Rose Vine Cellars 2019 The Red Rose Cabernet Sauvignon rules!