Legendary guitarist Carlos Santana sees some beautiful parallels between creating music and making fine wine, and they are artfully expressed in a new winemaking venture he has undertaken with Mumm Napa, one of California’s top sparkling wine houses. The new wine, called Santana DVX, was created as a careful collaboration between Santana and the Mumm Napa winemaking team. The 1999 Mumm Napa ‘Santana DVX,’ Napa Valley ($55), will be released August 15th in the U.S., shortly prior to the release of Santana’s new album, All That I Am.
In working with Mumm Napa winemaker Ludovic Dervin, Santana likened the creation of the final blend of wines and dosage to the masculine/feminine balance of rhythm and melody in music. The Santana DVX cuvée is a blend of Pinot Noir (50%) and Chardonnay (50%), which strikes a balance between the more masculine character of the Pinot Noir and the more feminine elegance of the Chardonnay, with the final dosage adding the wine’s signature texture and flavors. Santana worked with Mumm Napa over a period of several weeks, tasting different dosages and ultimately selecting his favorite for the Santana DVX cuvée. The dosage Santana selected, with input from his wife, author Deborah Santana, was comprised of a reserve Chardonnay aged in French oak barrels, which gives the Santana DVX a distinctive creamy richness on the palate.
“I've long enjoyed fine sparkling wine, and this was a chance to create a wine of great personal expression," noted Santana. “I am delighted with how it turned out--it's fresh and supremely elegant! Mumm Napa's commitment to producing fabulous sparkling wines made it a pleasure to work closely with Mr. Ludovic Derbin and Mr. Rob McNeil in creating this very special one.”
Mumm Napa’s DVX is the winery’s tête de cuvée, or top bottling, and comes from specially selected lots from their best vineyards in the Napa Valley. Mumm Napa introduced DVX over a decade ago to honor founding winemaker Guy Devaux with a high-end wine that captured the truest expression of the vintage, the Napa Valley grapes and the winemaker’s creativity. The Santana DVX cuvée comes from the 1999 vintage and is 100% Napa Valley grapes, with a 50%/50% blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The wine has beautiful floral aromas, a mild nutty bouquet and a creamy palate with a long finish. Approximately 1,600 cases were produced under a specially designed “Santana” label. It will be available at fine wine stores nationally. One dollar from every bottle sold will benefit the Milagro Foundation, established by Deborah and Carlos in 1998, which supports non-profit organizations and program worldwide working with children and youth in the areas of the arts, education and health. Since its inception has granted close to $2 million.
Mumm Napa is one of California’s top sparkling wine producers and a popular destination for wine country visitors. For more than 20 years, Mumm Napa sparkling wines have set the standard for California méthode champenoise, emphasizing natural ripeness and exceptional Napa Valley character. The winery and visitors’ center is located in Rutherford along the Silverado Trail and is open daily for tours, tastings and private events. Mumm Napa also has a highly-regarded fine art photography gallery at the visitor center. In September a new exhibit will open titled “The Legends of Rock,” featuring more than 120 photographs from the world of rock ‘n’ roll, including Carlos Santana, by the world’s top rock photographers. There will be a sparkling wine reception opening the exhibit, September 17 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Visitor center and gallery hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Mumm Napa Winery is located at 8445 Silverado Trail, Rutherford, CA 94573. For additional information on visiting the winery and its exhibits, call 707-967-7700 or access the Mumm Napa website at www.mummnapa.com.