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Details in the Dosage: Sparkling Chardonnay Staff Blend P

Mumm Napa’s 2013 Sparkling Chardonnay Staff Blend is a special release for Club Vivant members with a special story behind it.

There are many steps to crafting sparkling wine using the time-honored Méthode Traditionnelle approach, and one of our favorite steps is the final one — dosage. It’s during this step, when the wine is finished with a “dosage syrup” made from cane sugar and wine, that a final artistic touch from the winemaker determines the wine’s personality and style, from a dry Brut to a lightly sweet Demi-Sec. Dosage balances the wine’s acidity, adding to the final mouthfeel—for something soft, or creamy, or rich.

Mumm Napa winemakers Ludovic Dervin and Tami Lotz spend considerable time carefully crafting the perfect dosage for all of our sparkling wines, each undergoing several options and trials before selection. Taking inspiration from this part of the process, our Mumm Napa winery staff teamed with our winemakers to do the same for this special release—the first-ever Staff Blend.

The base wine for our Sparkling Chardonnay Staff Blend was blended from some of our finest Chardonnay vineyards picked from the fantastic 2013 vintage. It spent two and a half years aging on the yeast before dosage was added.

The team was tasked with assessing this base wine and trialing different dosage syrups. They tasted through preliminary trials with our winemakers, and learned this part of the winemaking process hands-on. The group then broke into teams to craft what they felt was the most balanced dosage for the wine, culminating in 10 taste-trials to determine the winning blend—the one most balanced and best highlighting the base wine.

The result features a pleasant, yeasty toastiness on the nose, complemented by aromas of golden delicious apples, orange, and Meyer lemon. The delicate mousse is followed by soft and creamy vanilla, apricot, and apple notes, with a bright acidity that leads into a long finish, accented with hints of fresh bread and honey.

Our unanimous winner.

We encourage you to enjoy this wine much like it was made: with family and friends. Open a bottle for a family-style meal of crab-au-gratin, ricotta ravioli with a lemon cream sauce, or roasted fish, and celebrate the time found to spend together.