Mumm Napa Brut Prestige, Napa Valley
Mumm Napa Brut Rose, Napa Valley
Cost: $18-21 Prestige, $22-25 Rose
What: If you’re looking for something with which to ring in the new year, you can’t go wrong with either of these wines from Mumm Napa. These two elegant American sparklers are excellent examples of using Old World techniques on New World fruit to produce spectacular, inexpensive wine. The pink salmon color of the Brut Rose alerts you to the fruit forward pinot noir that dominates this blend (85% pinot noir, 15% chardonnay). The creamy taste is mainly strawberries, cherries and plums. The Brut Prestige has a pale peach color, with citrus aromas and vanilla, citrus, spice and melon flavors. It’s a blend of 51% pinot noir, 46% chardonnay, 2% pinot meunier and 1% pinot gris.

The Winery: In 1979, the French Champagne house of G.H. Mumm began looking for the ideal winegrowing area in the U.S. Guy Devaux spent four years buying grapes around the country, looking for a place to grow traditional Champagne grapes (pinot noir and chardonnay). He found the ideal spot in Napa Valley and established Mumm Cuvee Napa, completing the winery in 1986. Though Mr. Devaux died in 1995 the winery still produces wine using the classic techniques invented in Champagne 300 years ago. The méthode champenoise allows the wine to ferment in the bottle. The winemaker blends grapes from more than 50 Napa Valley vineyards to craft the house style, varying little from year to year.
Goes with: Nearly everything from Asian food to fried chicken. It’s especially good with cheese, seafood, nuts and turkey. We had the Brut Rose with tortellini in tomato sauce and it held up well to the tart, acid tomato taste. The Brut Prestige tamed a homemade chicken fried rice that was loaded with soy sauce and vegetables.

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