What We Say Reserve Brut
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT!
When we sleuth out a wine that really stands out, we issue a special alert. Today’s bubbly qualifies as one of the finest we have shown.
SECRET SAVINGS ALERT!
Purchase 6 or more bottles of today’s superb wine, and we’ll reward you with Free Ground shipping. Just enter secret savings code BRUTSPY and your savings will be shown at final checkout.
Mission Codename: Keeping Mumm
Operative: Agent Sparkle, Wine Spies resident Sparkling wine expert
Objective: With the holidays approaching, locate a stellar bubbly for our Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Mumm Napa
Wine Subject: Napa Reserve Brut
Winemaker: Ludovic Dervin
Backgrounder: For today’s selection, we sent Agent Sparkle out in search of a sparkling wine worthy of being served at the holiday celebrations of our Operatives around the country. After an arduous search, Agent Sparkle returns with a secret cache of Mumm Napa’s delicious Reserve Brut, a sparkling wine that she declares to be a ‘stunner’ of a sparkling wine. High praise from the very picky Wine Spies princess of bubbly. Read her detailed tasting notes and mission report below
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – A beautiful pale straw to sparkling golden in color with a mix of tiny and large bubbles. Using a non-etched champagne flute (which can influence the course that bubbles take through the wine), the large bubbles infrequently shoot upward from the middle, while the small bubbles glide up the periphery with steady frequency
Smell – Fresh green melon, white cherry, fresh bread dough, honeysuckle, green fig and vanilla bean
Feel – This bubbly begins with a tender zing of fizzy bubbles at the front of the palate, then feels creamy and lush at the mid, with crisp acidity leading to a great finish
Taste – Delicious and juicy with a bright freshness that leads off with beautifully balanced sweet and tart flavors of sweet citrus, white toast, soft pear and subtle white cherry
Finish – Initially wet and mouth watering, with flavors that ramp up quickly and then taper off slowly moving from sweet to gently tart and creamy
Conclusion – This is an impressive and delicious bubbly from our friends at Mumm Napa! With the holidays upcoming, I am stocking up for my holiday parties. When I first sampled this great sparkler, I enjoyed it with assorted hard cheeses and dried meats.
Our Operatives know that my reviews here are limited mostly to sparkling wines. Because we show sparkling wines here so infrequently, I can be very picky and take my time when choosing a great bubbly. By virtue of this, you can be assured that the sparkling wines that I sleuth out for you are the best wines I can find. This bubbly, from Mumm Napa, passes passes my test – and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do!
Guest Reviewer Alert!
Today, we welcome back Agent Noir. What follows are his thoughts on today’s wine:
“This zesty sparkler has lots of green apple, pear and spicy citrus with doughy and toast notes. This wine has tangy lemon and hints of brioche and custard with nice bubbles and clean flavors. The fresh finish lingers and the lively acidity gives good balance.” -Agent Noir
It was a high level meeting of all of our overseas operatives. HQ wanted to have a rare face-to-face. We needed to get on the same page and refocus our efforts. I, Agent Sparkle, was tasked with arranging the summit.
Choosing the location was easy; I just had to get us all to the Monterey safe-house. Agents from around the world arrived. It was good to see Agent Baco Noir in the flesh, in her signature Italian pumps. Agent J played pilot to Agent Terroir and Agent White, flying them both in in her Citation X. They had come all the way from France for the meeting (stay tuned for the results of that ongoing mission). Agent Red arrived a little late but, as a founder of The Wine Spies, he can get away with it.
Agent Grenache, the heavy-lifter of the group, fresh cleaning up our latest logistical nightmare, was in attendance. So, too, were Agent Neutron and Agent Orange (our hipster Paso Robles Operatives), Agent Noir (Monterey), and Agent Smith (you read about him in Agent Red’s mission report of yesterday). Also in attendance were a select group our Agent’s field assets, moles, and confidential informants.
The meeting room was packed. So was the agenda: There were extended tastings to conduct, technical analysis, sessions on trade-craft, research on trends and perhaps most importantly, the latest harvest reports.
It was a long and grueling day and thankfully Agent Red arranged a great after-conference BBQ, Aussie style, in my honor. He arranged the dinner, but I had arranged the refreshment of the evening, a beautiful sparkling wine from my newest friends, Mumm Napa.
Mumm Napa’s Reserve Brut became an instant favorite from the moment I first placed the winery under surveillance. It took some skillful subterfuge to procure enough to serve at our gathering – and to keep enough for our well-deserving Operatives for today’s offering. We’re sorry that you weren’t able to attend our conference, but I am sure that today’s superb bubbly is consolation enough.
The day behind us, the BBQ was in full swing. We were having a great time, and I just love the fall along the California coast. It was the perfect way to finish the days activities, watching the sun set into the mighty Pacific – with a glass of Champagne in hand.
Agent Terroir raised his glass and said, “A mes amis et à un grand avenir!, A votre sante!”. He took a sip and smiled at Agent Sparkle with a glowing look of approval. Sparkle just smiled back and whispered to Red, “Mumm’s the word.”
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
Mumm Napa Valley
Mumm Napa Valley, Member, Napa Valley Vintners
Awards and Accolades:
90 Points – Wine Spectator — October 2006
About This Wine:
Our Reserve Brut release a celebration of the generous Napa Valley and a salute to our Champagne heritage. Like our cousins of Champagne, Reserve Brut is crafted with a markedly stronger emphasis on the round, distinctive flavors of yeast aging— toast, spice, biscuit, mocha and toffee. The ripe fruit flavors of Napa Valley explode in the glass—with fresh fig, cherry, vanilla beans and honeysuckle wrapped in a round and creamy texture. A fabulous aperitif, Reserve Brut pairs beautifully with densely flavored cuisine such as veal, pork, duck or seafood.
This limited-production wine is crafted by carefully selecting fruit from more than 50 separate vineyards. The individually selected lots are kept separate during initial fermentation in order to highlight their vineyard differences and make the most of their speciﬁc strengths, for a ﬁnal blend of ﬁnesse, strength and harmony. Only the top 10 to 12 best lots of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are selected for the ﬁnal assemblage of Reserve Brut every year. An average 36 months of yeast aging adds mouth-ﬁlling complexity—with aged ﬂavors of biscuit, bread dough, white blossoms, honey and mocha, while contributing multi-dimensional layers of creaminess and softness.
Elegant, tiny bubbles gently rise to the top of this straw yellow wine with lovely light golden highlights. The ripe fruit ﬂavors that characterize the grapes of the Napa Valley explode in the mouth with rich layers of fresh ﬁg, cherry, vanilla beans and honeysuckle, wrapped in a round and creamy texture and underlined by a crisp acidity and nutty ﬁnish. This wine exhibits aromas of white cherry, apricot, melon and biscuit. Wonderfully crafted, this wine stands alone as an aperitif, but pairs beautifully with densely ﬂavored cuisine such as veal, pork, duck and seafood.
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.