Either I’m getting arthritic before my time or else Mumm Napa are using some amazingly tight corks, but as per usual I had a hell of a time getting the cork out of this bad boy.
I was surprised to see that this wine is a fairly dark red; it looks an awful lot like Honest Ade pomegranate blueberry drink (for you Aussies, this is an organic soft drink that’s something like a premixed cordial). Heck, it could just be pomegranate juice if we’re going by loks here. On top of the wine, there are some bubbles – lots of them – which somehow don’t look particularly elegant. They’re kind of like tiny color inverted cod roe, but I digress.
It smells of strawberries and unaired broom closets. It tastes like medium quality Moldovan pinot noir, which is to say fairly good in a musty direction. It comes across as fairly dry with a short finish that hits a fruit leather, somewhat tannic note and holds there; I like it, but it seems abrupt, inelegant.Honestly, I’m not sure what to make of this. It pales by comparison to good Aussie sparkling shiraz, and Moldovan sparkling reds (eg Cricova) are far more entertaining. On the other hand, it doesn’t taste like any other Californian sparkler I’ve had, which is I suppose a good thing, and yes, I would be happy to drink this at any time (I love sparkling red wine). But is it good value?
Price: $30 (wine club members: $21)
Date tasted: September 2008