Mumm Napa Valley
Pinot Noir - Chardonnay
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
EXCLUSIVE WINE ALERT:
Do you know where you can purchase today’s wine? At Mumm Napa’s Rutherford winery… or right here, right now! The Wine Spies are the only wine merchant to be featuring today’s wonderful sparkling delight.
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Mission Codename: The Better Half
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: In time for Easter and Mother’s Day delivery, return to our dear friends at Mumm Napa and procure an allocation of their latest winery-only Demi-Sec, a softly sweet and deliciously crisp bubbly for our Operatives celebrations
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Mumm Napa
Wine Subject: Napa Demi-Sec Napa Valley
Winemaker: Ludovic Dervin
Backgrounder: For today’s selection, we sent Agent Red out in search of a sparkling wine worthy of being served at the Easter and Mother’s Day celebrations of our Operatives around the country. After an arduous search, Red returns with a secret cache of Mumm Napa’s delicious Demi-Sec, a crisp, softly-sweet and delicious sparkling wine. Read Red’s detailed tasting notes and mission report below, which includes an interview with Mumm winemaker Ludovic Dervin
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Light golden, with an energetic cascade of columns of fine bubbles. These closely-spaced columns swirl around each other in a lively dance that never seems to abate – even after the wine has sat in the flute for a long period of time.
Smell – Fresh orange blossom and acacia flower yield to white peach, green and yellow citrus with hints of pear, yeasty bread dough and vanilla custard.
Feel – A soft flume of bubbles form on the front palate and the mousse expands slightly. Across the mid-palate the wine feels smooth and wet. After a moment, an soft dryness eases its way around the palate. Overall, the wine has a very elegant and plush feel that invites repeated sipping.
Taste – Delicious, soft and slightly sweet, with flavors of yeasty sweetbread, citrus, melon, vanilla and the faintest hint of soft cinnamon.
Finish – After the rush of the mousse fades, the wine becomes light and smooth in the mouth. A moment after swallowing, a very easy and very gradual dryness spreads around the palate, sustaining soft flavors of citrus and yeasty sweetbread.
Conclusion – We loved the previous (2010) release of Mumm’s exciting Demi-Sec, and this newest offering has us even more excited. Where last year’s wine had something of a bite to it, this semi-dry sparkling has a softer, sweeter and more elegant demeanor. We are thrilled to have maintained such a close relationship with this fantastic winery, and we are very proud to be granted access to exclusive wines. Today’s lovely Demi-Sec is the perfect wine for those that don’t enjoy the bold and harder style of Brut sparkling wines. Today’s wine has just a touch of sweetness, balanced against just the right amount of easy dryness. Stock up, now, for Easter, Mother’s Day or you post Tax-day celebrations!
AGENT RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
LUDOVIC: The Mumm Napa Demi Sec is a deliciously light, fresh and fruit-forward sparkling wine. It is a lovely way to start off a Spring or Summer soiree or is the perfect finale to a special meal. Perfect for sipping today, the profile will broaden with one to two years on the cork. As the sugar continues to caramelize over time, this wine will develop even more complexity, richness and creaminess.
RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
LUDOVIC: This is a great spring-time wine especially for Easter and Mother’s Day Brunches. We get the family together and enjoy this fresh style with waffles with strawberry compote, goat cheese and arugula frittata or eggs Florentine. In the evening, I try pairing it with blue cheese stuffed figs with balsamic reduction, sweet and spicy stir-fry or drizzling it over fresh fruit for a light summer dessert.
RED: In your opinion, what makes the Carneros District so special?
LUDOVIC: The Carneros District, with its cool evenings, foggy mornings and warm days, provides the best climate around for producing the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. When we go out tasting the grapes, we’re looking for even ripening, while maintaining high acidity and moderate sugar levels. These qualities are what create elegant, ageable sparkling wines that we can enjoy through the years.
RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
LUDOVIC: We are celebrating our Napa Green Certification and are going through our annual ISO certification audits which measure our standards for quality, safety and environmental. We are very proud of these accomplishments and put a lot of effort in maintaining these international standards of quality. We’re also busy in the vineyards, watching the crazy Spring weather unfold before us with ample rain and spots of sun and warmth. We’re just seeing some bud break and hoping that the frost is behind us.
RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The gorgeous Rutherford, California location of the Mumm Napa winery and vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
Demi-Sec is a wonderful dessert sparkling wine—deliciously light, fresh and fruity. Translating literally to “half-dry”, a fine Demi-Sec is crafted with a balanced dosage that provides a complex counterpoint to the natural acidity of the blend. Our Demi-Sec is rich, full and lush, with essence of orange blossoms, cantaloupe, citrus and a slight touch of caramel. A great complement to fruit, cheese and creamy desserts like creme brulée, peach or apple pie topped with whipped cream.
Demi Sec can be aged several years on the cork, and the sugar favors broaden to give even more complexity, richness and creamy tones.
Technique: Grapes are picked mainly at night—exclusively by hand and delivered to the winery in signature “small yellow boxes.” fruit is hand-delivered to the presses and slowly de-juiced at low pressure, with the four press fractions kept separate. low-temperature primary fermentation—mostly in stainless steel—is utilized to enhance fruit tones and preserve freshness. individual lots are kept separate during initial fermentation to fully express the vineyards’ individual strengths and subtleties.
Wines are blended in winter and bottled in spring for the second bottle fermentation. An average of 18 months of yeast aging adds complexity, contributing subtle aged favors of biscuit, bread dough, white blossoms and mocha while adding layers of creaminess. the wine is disgorged as a demi-sec style, and aged another 3 months on the cork to fully marry the dosage liquor to the base wine.
Profile: Mumm Napa’s Demi Sec is light, fresh and fruity, with a delicate pale straw color edged with yellow-green. aromas are predominantly citrus, with faint caramel in the background. On the palate, the wine is rich, full and lush, with orange blossom, fruit salad and cantaloupe. a long finish is dominated by white chocolate and vanilla. pair demi Sec with lightly sweet desserts such as crème brulée, peach or apple pie topped with whipped cream, persimmon pudding or fresh cantaloupe. its lightly sweet palate also provides the perfect foil to spicy far eastern cuisine styles.
About The Winery:
The Wine Enthusiast Magazine calls Mumm Napa one of “America’s Best Tasting Rooms. How do you decide where to end the day in Napa Valley? Go to Mumm.”
Enjoy table service outside on the terrace, or taste in our glass-enclosed tasting salon – each offering stunning views of the surrounding Rutherford vineyards.
While you are here, take a guided tour of the winery, stroll through our Fine Art Photography Gallery or browse for exclusive Napa Valley items in our wine shop. Any way you look at it, a visit to Mumm Napa is the highlight of your Napa Valley experience.
About The Winemaker:
Winemaker Ludovic Dervin – In Summer 2002, Ludovic Dervin was named Winemaker at Mumm Napa. Ludo brings to the position extensive experience in both sparkling and still wine production, along with an exceptional working relationship with V.P. Winemaking and Operations Napa Valley, Rob McNeill.
Boasting a thorough understanding of méthode champenoise production, Dervin completed his winemaking studies in his native Champagne, France, His skills were then refined during several harvests with the prestigious Champagne houses Charles Heidseick and G.H. Mumm, as well as California’s Piper Sonoma, where he first worked with Rob McNeill. Prior to joining Mumm Napa, Ludo polished his non-bubbly winemaking skills at the world-renowned Russian River wineries, Hartford Court and Gary Farrell.
Winemaker: Ludovic Dervin
Appellation: Napa Valley
Composition: 47% Chardonnay, 44% Pinot Moir, 5% Pinot Gris, 4% Pinot Meunier
t.a.: 8.1 g/l
Dosage: demi Sec