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Frapin releases Cognac with French NBA star

Rudy Gobert, who plays basketball for France, as well as in America’s NBA league, has teamed up with Frapin to release a new blend of Cognac.

Instagram / @rudygobert27

Minnesota Timberwolves player Rudy Gobert may be based in Minneapolis with his NBA team, but he was born and raised in Saint-Quentin, France.

Now another of France’s most successful exports has enlisted Gobert to help it create a new, ultra-premium spirit for the North American market.

Cognac Frapin signed Gobert as its North American ambassador in July 2021, claiming that both parties share “common values” and a “drive for excellence”, and that Gobert’s personality and reputation are “an asset for developing contacts with the connoisseur public.”

Frapin XO Cognac Rudy Gobert is the maison’s first release with the basketball star.

Priced at US$249.99 for 700ml, the special edition has been aged in oak for more than 20 years, with the blend described by the brand as being smooth with long notes of dried orange, apricots and vanilla, and aromas of gingerbread and cinnamon.

The product has already sold out via drinks distributor Total Wines.

Named Defensive Player of the Year in 2018, 2019 and 2021, Gobert previously played for NBA team Utah Jazz, who acquired him during the 2013 draft.

The 7ft 1 inch tall player was scouted by the NBA after playing in the FIBA Under-18 Championships for France, where he was the team’s top scorer and rebounder. Gobert went on to play with Cholet Basket of the French LNB Pro A league, where he was named the Best Blocker.

Basketball stars have forged a host of alliances in the drinks world, either launching, acquiring or partnering with brands, including LeBron James founding Lobos 1707 Tequila & Mezcal, and Tony Parker acquiring Rhône winery Château Saint Laurent after becoming a partner at Château La Mascaronne in Provence.

Former Miami Heat point guard Dwyane Wade has his own Three By Wade wine range, and also sits on the executive leadership board of UC Davis’ department of Viticulture and Enology.

In 2022, the Houston Rockets released a lager called Clutch City in collaboration with Karbach Brewing Co.

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is also said to be “obsessed” with Château d’Yquem. The producer of the iconic dessert wine recently gifted Popovich a bottle of 1949 d’Yquem, following decades of custom.

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