The wine symbol of emancipation

Carmelo Anthony & Asani Swann

Three words: wine, symbol, and emancipation, which deserve some theoretical preamble. Let's start with the latter, emancipation, which is a legal and humanistic procedure allowing a slave owner to grant freedom to their slave. Next, the symbol: a sign, a material object, or a formula serving as a mark of recognition among initiates, where the cultural aspect predominates. Finally, wine, an "object of art and craftsmanship" as Carmelo Anthony* and Asani Swann** founders of the wine trading house VIN(N) The Seventh Estate launched in 2019, like to remind us, to promote other voices and stories in the world of wine.
Their first cuvée is a Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2020, composed of 90% 80-year-old Grenache from the Mourre du Gaud, a plot adjacent to the famous plateau of La Crau, and created in collaboration with Stéphane Usseglio from Domaine Usseglio Raymond & Fils. Vinified in concrete tanks with indigenous yeasts, aged for two years in large oak casks and concrete tanks, this quality Châteauneuf advocates smoothness and mouthfeel, in a very "2020" affable style.

Stéphane Usseglio du Domaine Usseglio Raymond et Fils

Carmelo and Asani named this cuvée Oath of Fidelity in tribute to General Toussaint Louverture, a freed slave, general, and Franco-Haitian statesman of Afro-Caribbean origin, born around 1743, who was a key figure in the Haitian Revolution.

"When it shall be known that, at the time which I was accused of wishing to sunder this island from France - my benefactress - I repeated the oath of fidelity to her, I take pleasure in believing that the government I own, and my fellow-citizens, will render me the justice I merit, and that the enemies of my brethren will be reduced to silence." - Toussaint Louverture.

Général Toussaint Louverture

A wine bearing the echo of a freedman doesn't go unnoticed. Far more than just another celebrity whim in search of occupation, Oath of Fidelity is the convergence of passion and purpose. Carmelo Anthony is a genuine wine enthusiast (he even hosts a podcast "What’s in your glass"), but also a public figure engaged in the BIPOC community (Black, Indigenous and People Of Color) whose the news has never been so important in the US.

Using wine as a medium to embody a cause, much like some artists do through their works, is an approach worth discussing, not only for the cause it champions, but also for what it teaches us (or reminds us) about wine. Perhaps our industry has too hastily forgotten Carmelo's definition of wine as an "object of art and craft" that lends unexpected substance to a cause far removed from the vineyards. Wine, like beauty, has a power, that of fostering community, in exchange and sharing, in fraternity and respect for others. At a time when the vineyard is grappling with its future, here's a basketball player from Brooklyn reminding us of the essential, why we love wine and readily share it.

Carmelo Anthony et Olivier Borneuf de la Tulipe Rouge


Olivier Borneuf


*Carmelo Anthony, also known as Melo, is an American basketball player. He is the only American basketball player to have participated in four Olympic Games, winning a bronze medal in 2004 and three gold medals in 2008, 2012, and 2016. He is the top scorer, rebounder, and player with the most games played in the history of the US Olympic basketball team. One of the best small forwards of the NBA in the 2000s and 2010s alongside LeBron James and Kevin Durant, he retired from professional sports in May 2023.

**Asani Swann is an experienced entrepreneur in the sports industry, producer, strategic specialist with over 20 years of experience collaborating with globally recognized brands in entertainment, sports, and wine. She is currently the co-founder and partner of Carmelo Anthony, retired NBA star, at the negociant house VII(N) The Seventh Estate, which she and Anthony launched in 2019.