Champagne Mumm- Visit Report

“Clear” wines tasting 

This test is often dreaded, despite its intellectual interest, as it is often painful for one´s teeth and gums… And yet, in 2020 acidities are slightly lower than in 2019, and fruit is so intense, that tasting base wine seems to a kid´s game. The pHs remain low and despite a small sugar/ phenolics shift leading to some vegetal hints, the wines are typical to each terroir and balanced between richness and elegance. 

  1. Chardonnay Montgueux – early- ripening in 2020, harvest started by August 17 in the area, while by August 20, the grapes already accumulated 11% of potential alcohol. The wines title 11.3% vol., the phenolics are nevertheless less ripe than in Côte des Blancs. The frost in the beginning of 2021 unfortunately damaged 90% of the vintage here.

Aniseed, slightly tropical, with banana notes, dry, offering ripe and high acidity, with a fleshy, juicy character, ripe citrus fruits, tinged with some zests, phenolics are slightly herbal.

  1. Chardonnay Cramant without MLF 10.8% abv.

The nose is more discreet, showing notes of apple with a touch of apple skin, like a light oxidative hint. Very character, almost “bone dry”, with high, and again very ripe acidity, though sharper than the Montgueux. Phenolics are ripe, with a citrus peel touch, finish on crunchy apple. Homogenous in terms of phenolic ripening, lower acids than in 2019.

Vallée de la Marne – Mountagne ouest, planted at 50% rate with Meunier, and the remining 50% with Chardonnay. Harvested at 11.5%abv., some Chardonnay have suffered from blocked ripening.

  1. Meunier 100% Wines go into the Cordon Rouge blend – fruity, more on the red fruit side, with redcurrants, herbs, medium plus acidity in the grand scheme of Champagne, the texture is silky, phenolics are present, balanced, slightly herbal but without bitterness.
  2. Chardonnay/Meunier for Reserve wines and Cordon Rouge

More floral, with notes of cherry, almonds, cherry blossoms, charming, lifted by Chardonnay, with herbal and earthy notes of roots, higher acidity, boosted by Chardonnay, with a certain density of the phenolics, with denser texture.

Montagne de Reims

  1. Aÿ Pinot Noir (plots were heavily impacted by frost in 2021, as much as Chouilly.)

Ripe, with typical notes of red fruits, cherry core, with a subtle floral veil, citrus such as bergamot. Ripe acidity, silky texture, fruity and juicy wine with ripe phenolics. 

  1. Verzenay Pinot Noir – for Cordon Rouge and for reserve wines

Redcurrant and other red berries, high acidity, though ripe and structuring, with tension and phenolic bite, redcurrants and zests lingering on the aftertaste. 0.2% abv. higher than Aÿ, which is felt by a riper style. 

  1. Mailly – for reserve wines 

Ripe with a slight herbal twist, however, which also appears on the palate, supported by ripe acidity, textured dimension, more oxidative finish with almond hints.

  1. 2020 Blend 25% Chardonnay Cramant and Avize, 75% Pinot Noir Verzenay, Mailly and Ambonnay, 15% 1st vintage, 80% GC 2.99 pH, 4 g/l H2SO4

Airy and fresh nose, delivering white flowers, dry with a high but surprisingly ripe acidity, fresh and juicy, the phenolics are firm and ripe, no herbaceous element, more on the side of zests, fresh almonds. Finish lingers with cherry pit, floral notes.

Experimental tasting by neuroscience

This innovative exercise was conducted by Laurent Fresnet, cellar master of Champagne Mumm and with the help of the neurobiologist of the laboratory “Perception and memory” at of the Institute Pasteur – Gabriel Lepousez. Glasses were signed by designer Olivier de Gaulle. Disturbing, fascinating, this shown us the real hidden face of Champagne that in no time seemed to change facets, age, perception. 

    1. Grand Cordon Rouge 70% Pinot Noir from a Grand Cru base of 2017, one year- longer ageing compared to Le Cordon Rouge (30 months to 3 years on average), 8 g/l dosage  

Medium lemon yellow, with tonic bubbles, intense nose, with an autolysis reminiscent of breadmaking, brioche. Then come candied peach, apple, honey, toast. Sry with “off-dry-ish” dosage, but with a high, salivating acidity, and tonic bubbles tissued in its silky mouthfeel. The palate reveals more citrus fruits, zests, leesy phenolics, notes of bread, flowers, a hint of potpourri and honey lingering on the aftertaste. 

Purple glass: the nose seems more developed, more mature, more autolytic, centered on Pinot, with a palate guided more by a firmer phenolic structure, with black and red fruits.

    1. Grand Cordon Rosé, dominant Ambonnay plus Premiers Crus, 2016 base, 8 g/l dosage 

Redcurrant pink, the nose charms by its red fruit fragrances: strawberry, raspberry, but also an airy veil of floral potpourri. Palate is fruit- driven with freshness, creamy mousse and high acidity, it holds on some light phenolic. The aromatic profile shimmers the nose: gourmet red fruits, some confected fruits, the almost kirsch cherry on the finish. 

Purple glass: More on the Pinot side, more vinous, based on phenolics. Riper cherry and deep nose, more autolysis, those hints of kirsch linger longer on the finish.

    1. Vintage 2013 late vintage, harvested by mid-October, exceptional fact in recent years. 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay, 6 g/l dosage

White goldish crystalline colour, its intense nose reveals peaches, Mirabelle plums, complemented by honey, lime blossom, herbal tea. High, tensioned but ripe acidity reinforcing the zesty phenolics, it offers a more reductive, chalky style, with honey, flowers, tea coming along. Drinks well now, 5-6 years and longer for potential aging.

White glass: more on citrus fruits, chalk, a higher perception of acidity, zests, phenolics, even more reductive, almost tactile perception on stony notes and chalk.

    1. RSRV Blanc de Noirs 2009 Grand Cru Verzenay 6 g/l dosage

Of a pale golden colour, the nose seduces by its peach, mirabelle, and honey fragrances, with a touch of wax, sweet spices, and rich brioche autolysis. Very fresh and silky, supported by the fine bubbles, by the fine, zesty phenolics, its aromas are tinged with herbal tea, honey, spices, its long chalky finish bounces off honey glints.

White glass: fresher, phenolics take on a chalkier feeling, without becoming austere.

Purple glass: it felt riper, more developed, with typical Pinot- driven mirabelle plums aromas, complemented by gingerbread, deeply autolytic with red fruit notes.


      1. RSRV Blanc de Blancs 2012 Grand Cru Cramant 6 g/l dosage

Finely autolytic, with breadmaking notes and airy, floral veil refreshed by citrus hues. A vibrant wine, with supple texture and tiny creamy bubbles, aromas suggest citrus and zest, peach and verbena, a twist of honey, notes of autolysis on the long and salivating finish.

      1. RSRV 4.5 40% Chardonnay, 60% Pinot Noir from the Grands Crus: Verzenay, Aÿ, Bouzy 30% Reserve wines, 6 g/l dosage

Expressive and ripe nose, offering aromas of plum, red fruits, gingerbread, almonds. Mouthcoating texture with high acidity, silky bubbles woven in a creamy mouthfeel, with peach scents, blossoms, honey herbal tea, bergamot zest.

      1. RSRV Blanc de Noirs 2009 Grand Cru Verzenay 6 g/l dosage

Seductive by its fragrances of peach, mirabelle plum, honey, a touch of wax, sweet spices, it also shows a rich brioche autolysis. Very fresh and silky, supported by its texture tinged with fine bubbles, by the fine, zesty phenolics, the aromas display honey, herbal tea, spices, its long chalky finish bounces off a honey twist

  1. Cuvée Lalou 2006 historic plots, 50% Chardonnay, 50% Grand Cru Pinot Noir  

The nose reveals depth of aromas halfway between direct, exotic fruit and the complexity brought by scents of brioche, hazelnut, potpourri, baking spices, toast, and caramel. Creamy, with elevated and coated up acidity, with elegant spicy phenolics, the flavors display floral potpourri, lingering on the long finish with shades of caramel, kumquat, marmalade.

Following these tastings, we better contour the Mumm style: Pinot Noir spine, without becoming vinous, rather tensioned, with that northern spirit of the Montagne de Reims. It drives the wine towards crunchy red fruits. The Cramant vein brings salivation, freshness, and spicy zests. The house style also lies in the creamy autolysis, whereas bubbles become texture.


  1. 1996 disgorged in April 2012 4g/l dosage, SO2 40 g/l

The nose opens with notes of mocha, apple compote, exotic glints, candied mirabelle plums, oriental spices. Very dry style, with a superb high acidity, structuring phenolic, its texture is tinged with fine bubbles as well as notes of mocha, toast, spices. A long finish, an excellent balance and length. Salivant, salty, not yet umami- rich, but savoury.

  1. 1973 disgorged in May 2018

Deep gold, nose shows oxidative evolution, earthy notes of roots, beef stock, sotolon, mushrooms. Moderate acidity, digested by the time, the wine reveals itself large, still endowed with a fine and melting bubble. The palate takes up the energy of the nose with a character of its own: beef stock, mushrooms, with umami- rich style, and salty, long, toasted aftertaste. 

  1. 1961 disgorged in May 2018

Deep, coppery gold, with tiny bubbles, the nose offers a typical universe with deep tertiary that recalls coffee, gentian, a fine, noble volatile acidity that behaves as a vector of aromas. The palate is supported by vivid acidity, boosting spices, shades of fine and noble sotolon, still offering density, texture. A great vintage offering a long, architectural wine with notes of coffee on the aftertaste.

  1. 1955 disgorged in May 2018 

The intense nose recalls a Sauternes, with notes of wax, honey, marmalade, in fact, it oscillates between a Sherry and a Sauternes, also delivering a salty character, close to the umami, a buttery note, beef stock, undergrowth complemented by surprising, desiccated lime blossoms, honey. On the palate acidity is digest, with lots of while finesse. The silky texture is imbued with delicate, evanescent bubbles, its aromas are typical for this mature development. The finish is long and savoury, reminiscent of dried fruits, honey.