Monday Morning Quarterback (Wine Edition) – Can NFL Players Make Wine? We’ll See.

Before Drew Bledsoe was a superstar quarterback in the NFL, he spent most of his childhood growing up in the small community of Walla Walla Washington. 

After a successful college football career at Washington State University (breaking multiple school records and making the decision to forego his senior year to enter the NFL draft), Drew was drafted by the New England Patriots in 1993.

Fourteen years later, Bledsoe decided to retire from football in April of 2007. 

Drew admits he’s not a good enough golfer to hit the greens every day, but wanted to place his drive and passion into something that has always interested him…a passion for fine wine

"I have always been intrigued by the entire production process, from vine to bottle, far more than I was about the mere acquisition and consumption of wine.” - Drew Bledsoe

Drew returned to his hometown roots to plant his estate vineyard, McQueen in the Walla Walla Valley. In addition, Drew teamed up with long time childhood friend, Chris Figgins of Leonetti Cellar. Chris assisted his parents and the family business at an early age, then after graduating from Washington State University with a degree in Horticulture, he “officially” joined Leonetti in 1996 and focused on moving Leonetti to an estate driven winery model. 

Bledsoe announced in June 2008 that his wine project would be called Doubleback. Chris Figgins has been the consulting winemaker for Doubleback since its inception in 2007.

The name Doubleback is pretty simple. Drew explains that he grew up in Walla Walla and then went off on a crazy football deal. When that was over, he “doubled back” to Walla Walla. It also happens to have his initials, DB.

The 2008 Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon

The 2008 Doubleback is a deep, elegant ruby color in the glass. The beautiful nose displays cherries, wet stones, dried meats and a hint of cinnamon. This vintage is remarkably well balanced on the palate. The approach is soft with very nice acidity. Cherries, strawberries, pomegranates, are all present, mixed with hints of mocha chocolate and cloves. The finish and mouth feel are lush and velvety making you long for your next sip. We are incredibly proud of the wine and how it is drinking but patience will pay off in a big way. I recommend opening your bottle of Doubleback in advance or performing the process of double decanting.

Drew Bledsoe - Proprietor

Vintage 2008 turned out to be a nail-biter, but will be remembered for a long time as having produced wines of exceptional quality. The season unfolded very slowly, with bud break happening ten to fourteen days later than normal. This “lateness” persisted throughout the season, with all of our major indicator milestones of approaching harvest – vine growth, bloom, version, etc. – happening that same two weeks late. Late harvests, where the grapes just reach maturity, are always some of our finest. The threat can be from early frost, or early fall rain. We escaped both, resulting in wines, with floral aromatics and high tones – and the color is some of the most impressive I’ve seen. The backbone of the wine reminds me much of the 2005 vintage here in Walla Walla, with hefty but fine-grained tannins. This is a truly exciting vintage for Doubleback harvest #2!

Chris Figgins ~ Consulting Winemaker

Blend Profile

  • 86% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 7% Merlot
  • 7% Petite Verdot


  • Cases Produced: 90

Barrel / Aging Program

  • Aged in 60% new French oak and 40% neutral French oak barrels for 22 months

Have you tried Doubleback? We’re looking forward to trying some.


Hello Vino