Many Americans refer to all sparkling wines as Champagne. Many of us know that to be called Champagne the wine needs to come from the Champagne region in France, but in much the same way as we call all soda “Coke” and all MP3 players “iPods” we do the same with sparkling wine and call it “Champagne”. When searching for a nice bubbly for that special occasion, it’s actually not that easy to walk into a typical PA Wine and Spirits store and find an actual Champagne, but the sparkling options abound.
Right now at Premium Wine and Spirits stores (Robinson, South Hills) Mumm Napa 2006 Blanc de Blancs is available as a Chairman’s Selection. Mumm Napa is famous for their sparkling wines and is actually a joint venture between well respected Champagne maker G.H. Mumm and Joseph E. Seagram and Sons. G.H. Mumm, located in Reims in northern France, is one of the largest Champagne producers in the world. It was founded by three German brothers who relocated to the Champagne region in the mid 1800’s. Although the Mumms never became French citizens, the Mumm name is synonymous with quality Champagne.
The Mumm Napa Blanc de Blancs has received great reviews and a score of 93 from Wine Enthusiast. It retails for $36.00, but you can get it at the remarkable Chairman’s Selection price of $16.99. It is a dry, crisp, cleansing sparkling with great bread or biscuit flavors combined with toasted almonds, lemon citrus and mineral notes. Although this wine is made in the French method, the climate and soil of Napa produces a very different product than wine from the Champagne region. The term Blanc de Blancs is a French term to denote that a Champagne is made totally from Chardonnay grapes, but in the case of the Mumm Napa Blanc de Blanc they have broken with tradition and made a sparkling wine that is 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Gris. The Pinot Gris helps to round out the wine’s flavor and add a bit of spice to its flavor.
The Mumm Napa Blanc de Blancs is a great sparkling wine to celebrate summer graduations, weddings and anniversaries. It would taste great with some crab cakes, shrimp and angel hair pasta or a great toast.