When Rick Mirer was taken with the second pick of the 1993 draft, the Seattle Seahawks had in their mind that they were choosing the next Joe Montana. Even prior to going to Notre Dame, Mirer was one of the most successful prep quarterbacks in Indiana state history, earning the Academy of Achievement Award as the top high school football player in the country in 1989, as well as the Atlanta Touchdown Club's Bobby Dodd Award as the nation's best high school quarterback. At Notre Dame, Mirer was just as good, winning three bowl games and accounting for more points running and throwing (350) than any other player in Notre Dame history.
The Seattle Seahawks were a very poor team when they drafted Mirer in 1993. Still, Mirer finished his rookie season 5th in the AFC with 274 completions and 2833 yards and was AFC Rookie of the Year by United Press International. Mirer’s remaining seasons were not as successful in Seattle, being set behind an abysmal offensive line. Having gone to those games in the 1980s, all of us in the stands knew that Mirer was really not given a fair chance with such poor protection. Eventually traded to the Chicago Bears in 1997, Mirer continued to play as a backup quarterback until 2004.
Close friends with Drew Bledsoe, and drafted right behind him in 1993, Mirer admits that his friendship with Bledsoe helped lead him to start Mirror Napa Valley. Bledsoe and Mirer even took off-season vacation with their wives to Napa Valley. During the off-season they would also try to stump each other with wines from Port or Brunello di Montalcino. It made sense that both quarterbacks would start their wineries post-football. While playing for the Raiders and 49ers Rick became even more passionate for wine, being so close to Napa Valley. Finally in 2008 Rick started Mirror Napa Valley, utilizing the winemaking talents of Kirk Venge, formerly of Mumm Napa Valley. Kirk serves as winemaker for several great Napa wineries including B Cellars, Bacio Divino Cellars, Beau Vigne, Entrepreneur Wines, and Hunnicutt Wines. The new releases by Mirror were gorgeous. Check out the 2015 Mirror Cabernet Sauvignon (WWB, 93) which combines wonderful richness, herbal tones and great terroir. Nearly as good was the 2017 Mirror Sauvignon Blanc (WWB, 91) which is a marvelous pairing for shellfish or a hot summer day. Learn more about Rick Mirer’s great winery at https://www.mirrorwine.com Here are the beautiful new wines by Mirror Napa Valley.
2017 Mirror Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc- The nose is distinctly Napa with gooseberry and unripe melon aromas. The freshness and texture to the wine is marvelous as kumquat, Japanese pear and cantaloupe flavors all impress. Pair this delicious wine with Kusshi oysters. Drink 2019-2022- 91
2015 Mirror Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon- This burly and intense Cabernet Sauvignon by Mirror Napa Valley and former NFL quarterback/proprietor, Rick Mirer, shows wonderful Napa character. This Cabernet Sauvignon was sourced from Calistoga, from vines set on volcanic and alluvial soils. The wine was aged in 100% new French oak for 30 months prior to bottling. The nose starts off with deep red bell pepper, coffee ground and creme de cassis aromatics that continue to build in the glass. The palate is plush and voluptuous as the wine has a marvelous mouthfeel and texture as well as tension. Black cherry compote, black olive tapenade, espresso bean and dusty terroir flavors all marvelous combine in the glass. A stunning effort, this great wine will continue to gracefully evolve for the next two plus decades. If enjoying in its youth, be sure to give this at least a one hour decant. Drink 2019-2040- 93