Mumm Napa Sparkling Pinot Noir NV

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?

Mumm Napa
Price: $30 (wine club members: $21)
Closure: Cork
Date tasted: September 2008

2 thoughts on “Mumm Napa Sparkling Pinot Noir NV

  1. I like to think we (that is Oz) have the market cornered in terms of sparkling reds of quality and difference. Having said that, I am naive and have not tried an overseas version. So, once again interesting stuff. Thanks. jeremy

    • To be honest, I really think you do. They’re virtually unknown here in the States; the only countries I know of that do them regularly would be Moldova and Australia (although I did just spy a Blaufränkisch rosé from Australia earlier tonight).

      I was bad and opened a second bottle tonight – a Mumm Napa Cuvée M that’s also a sparkling red – and it’s pretty pathetic. I’d say we Californians still have a long way to go.

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