Born and raised in Napa, California, Mumm Napa winemaker Tamra Lotz was destined for winemaking from the start. She studied viticulture and enology at UC Davis, interned at Mumm Napa, and traveled the world to study wine in Germany, Australia, and Chile.
She joined Mumm Napa in 2003, and now works with Head Winemaker Ludovic Dervin in every aspect of winemaking. We spoke with Tami about the story behind her own exclusive blend – the 2006 DVX Expressions by Tamra Lotz – and how to experience it to its fullest.
What was the inspiration behind the 2006 DVX Expressions?
The 2006 vintage of DVX showed excellent aging potential. So we decided to hold some of it back for an additional 3 years on the yeast. When we tasted it as it aged, we realized we had an opportunity to create something totally unique. Ludovic and I both appreciated different qualities in the wine, and the Expressions series allowed each of us to create a special version using dosage (a blend of reserve wine and a small amount of pure cane sugar added at the end of the winemaking process to determine the final personality and style of the wine) to highlight those qualities.
For my DVX Expressions, I chose a dosage that would showcase the Chardonnay characters in the blend. I love the elegance and brightness that Chardonnay brings to the DVX blend, and I wanted those to shine.
Tell us a little more about the process of making Expressions.
The 2006 DVX was blended from only eight lots of wine. As is the tradition with DVX, the 2006 blend was made from 50 percent Pinot Noir and 50 percent Chardonnay, done in honor of our founding winemaker, Guy Devaux. DVX is the first wine we blend every year, ensuring that we select the best cuvées from the vintage to create a wine with elegance, power, and ageability.
What do you love about this wine that you can’t find in any other?
There are two qualities that I especially love in a sparkling wine: lively acidity and toasty, creamy yeast characters. I love that this wine has both!
Can you tell us a little more about the wine’s flavor profile?
A lemon curd, vanilla, and crème anglaise aroma with a soft and creamy taste featuring notes of biscuit and Fuji apples are the primary characters that I get from the wine. But as I was enjoying a glass tonight, I would add that there is a toasty, baked bread note on the nose that really adds to the complexity.
You recommend pairing the sparkling wine with linguine and clams, a light crab salad, or lemon risotto. What’s your favorite meal or dessert to go with DVX Expressions?
I’ll be honest – I love to drink sparkling wine with just about any meal. It’s an incredibly versatile option. The acidity balances the richness of the food, and the lower alcohol keeps it from overpowering your meal. I actually don’t recommend the DVX Expressions with dessert, unless you are serving a cheese course. In that case, I’d recommend a triple crème cow’s milk option (heaven!).
What kind of music pairs with this wine to add to the overall experience?
Though my taste in music is personally eclectic, I think anything and anyone from Frank Sinatra to The Rolling Stones, or from Michael Franti to Taj Mahal, would pair well with this wine’s style.
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Tami’s exclusive blend, marked with a “T” charm on the bottle, will be available for a limited time. Grab a bottle of the 2006 DVX Expressions by Tamra Lotz to personalize your next evening with friends for an occasion as special as this rare vintage.