GH Mumm Champagne is one of the biggest Champagne Houses and makes soft and light to medium bodied Champagnes. In fact they were the largest in the early 1900s and second to only Moet and Chandon, although they have been overtaken by Veuve Cliquot. Their extensive vineyards, almost 218 hectares, provide for approximately 20% of their grape needs. 160 Hectares are in the Grand Cru vineyards of Ambonnay, Aÿ, Avize, Bouzy, Cramant, , Mailly, Verzy, and Verzenay. Basically, this means 160 Hectares, almost 400 acres, of really kick ass grapes to make their juice from.
They are based in Reims and sit on top of 16 miles of cellars (cellar tours are available) and were founded in 1827 by two Germans. Allegedly the property was seized by the French Government after WW I as the owners had never formally become French citizens, despite the families having lived in France for nearly a century prior to the war. Today, Seagrams holds a majority stake.
Their most famous wine, and an immediately recognizable one, is their NV Cordon Rouge, which has a red slash on it patterned after the French Legion of Honor. They have been making Cordon Rouge since 1876 and it is exported widely including to the United States. Despite being their most famous, their Blanc de Blancs, reviewed below, is considered a much better wine by many experts and aficionados.
Their wines follow, but not all are exported or available in the USA or elsewhere.:
Mumm de Cramant, a Blanc de Blancs, is pure Chardonnay and one of their most consistent and many believe their best wine (their prestige cuvee, Cuvée R. Lalou, was not made for several years. and presumably it is better but I'vemany of us have never seen a bottle). The grapes come exclusively from the village of Cramant in the Côte des Blancs.
They are quite proud of their Mumm de Cramant, and the label always has turned down right hand side corner. This come from the 19th century custom of when trying to visit someone who wasn't at home, leaving a business card with one corner turned down to indicate that it was left in person. I felt like a bozo however trying to turn up the printed down turned corner before taking a picture of the bottle!
Cordon Rouge, their biggest seller by far and extremely well known, has never excited me, although the quality has varied over time and I must retry it. It's never bad, quite good in fact, but never exactly to my taste. I'll happily take a glass any day though!
Brut Rose, fruity and round, is their rose version of the Cordon Rouge which has 12-14% of still Pinot Noir added.
Mumm de Verzenay, a Blanc de Noirs, is currently only available in France. I don't think they make much as I couldn't find it last month in France.
Demi-Sec, their sweet Champagne, although not nearly as sweet as Champagne from a century ago. 60% Pinot Meunier gives it an intense fruitiness. Try it with an apple crisp, macaroons, or blue cheese!
Brut Millésimé, their vintage wine, is tough to find. I've never seen it and I know they didn't use to export to the US or much of anywhere else. All I can say about today is I never see it anywhere!
Cuvée R. Lalou, their prestige cuvee, was surprising not made after the 1986 vintage until recently. Could you imagine if Moet and Chandon stopping making Dom Perignon for example? They have restarted with the 1998 vintage.
To see their multilingual Website click here.
Mumm also makes sparkling wine in California in a joint venture with Joseph E Seagram & Sons known as Mumm Napa.
Tasting Note: Mumm de Cramant NV
A NV with a couple years of age on it. The last bottle opened, a fresh Magnum, was nice but followed a Mag of 1990 Deutz Cuvee William Deutz and was not unexpectedly outshined. Nice to try this on its own and it showed well
Quite a light yellow color which was not a surprise for this Blanc de blancs, i.e. pure Chardonnay bubbly.
On the nose there were apples and chalkiness, a slight saline presence. Nice.
On the palate it was very creamy and round. Apples, a sense of lime on the edges.
No blockbuster by any means but a pleasant drink albeit a bit simple. I have another bottle and a magnum left and I don't mind one bit!
Tasting Note: Mumm de Cramant NV, Part II
Well, retried it with food: Oysters Rockefeller and Scallops with Black Bean Sauce. It was a perfect match, and wine showed much better with food. It particularly, its Blanc de Blancs crispness paired well with the strong taste of the fermented black beans.