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Centuries of innovation
Celebrate the Carnival with Mumm
Maison Mumm has always been an innovative and forward-thinking champagne house since its foundation in 1827. From the outset, quality was the key watchword for the founders, and it has remained so for all of their successors. This approach would be encapsulated in the motto penned by Georges Hermann Mumm: “only the best”. In a year that forces us to enjoy the Melbourne Cup Carnival away from the track, we can still raise our glasses to the great race and a celebratory time of year that signals hope and optimism.
Innovation was born early at Maison Mumm. Very early in its history, the House realised the importance of establishing a system to ensure the highest quality of product, supervising every stage in production, from the grape-growing processes in all vineyards to the crucial pressing process.
In 1840, when the company acquired its first parcels in Verzenay, a wine press was built and installed which is still in use today. This decision demonstrated the capacity for innovation and a strong commitment to terroir, something that has never wavered through the centuries.
Another early innovation was the introduction of a supply policy that was unprecedented at the time. The House purchased grapes directly from growers in the finest vineyards, rather than unfermented juice. This approach allowed the company to verify grape quality and then press the juice itself. Genuine partnerships with the growers resulted, with the House demanding “only the best”.
Following these innovations, Maison Mumm continued to push the boundaries, with many more firsts added to its name. Some of these were: being the first to use stainless steel vats to ensure better quality of flavour; the first to develop a label-less bottle (Mumm Grand Cordon); and the first to partner with space experts (Mumm Grand Cordon Stellar).
In terms of the wine, this desire to stretch the oenological boundaries focuses particularly on Pinot Noir, the signature grape of the Maison. Whilst Chardonnay is known for its freshness and minerality and Pinot Meunier adds roundness to a blend, Pinot Noir is bolder and more distinctive.
It brings an exquisite fruitiness but also longevity, structure and power; the Cellars master team mission is to master that power and rich fruit to carve out the personality of each cuvée.
Maison Mumm Brand Ambassador Kaitlyn Tremblay believes that the beauty of Mumm lies in the flavour of the Pinot Noir. “From our Grand Cordon to our RSRV Blanc de Noirs vintage, we truly have mastered the flavour, keeping it bold and complex but maintaining that clean, crisp finish that makes champagne so delicious.
Pinot Noir is one of the hardest grapes to work with in wine, but can also produce some of the most flavourful wines. Especially once you start to age Pinot Noir – the complexities and brioche notes truly shine through.”
A hunger for experimentation and innovation continues to drive the Mumm oenological team. Their mission is to redefine quality, keeping only the best of traditional thinking and being unafraid to pioneer avant-garde processes. These include microoxygenation, microvinification of bespoke dosage liquors for each cuvée and exploring oak maturation in foudres and futs for both dosage liquors and reserve wines.
Kaitlyn agrees, admiring the drink for its history and technique but also its “savoir-faire”
and wine-making techniques of the French people. “At Maison Mumm – not only do we utilise these traditional methods, but we also find new ways of innovating and constantly improving the wine.”
How to enjoy Mumm
Kaitlyn encourages everyone to not only sample Mumm Grand Cordon but to also explore Mumm’s range. “We have a very dry exciting Rosé, as well as a rich vintage that was aged for six years! I also think people should start discovering champagne in new ways, such as having it throughout their meal. Start with a blanc de blancs or a classic brut non-vintage and make your way up to a blanc de noirs or a vintage champagne. And play around with food pairing. Champagne is one of the easiest wines to pair with cheese.”
Enjoying a glass of bubbles is a celebration, and champagne is the perfect drink to enjoy during the Melbourne Cup Carnival. If you want to be adventurous with your at home celebrations, Kaitlyn suggests that you consider some of Mumm’s more special cuvées to enjoy on their own or pair with your food. “If you go for this option, it’s important to think about the signature grape variety in the champagne. If it’s a chardonnay dominant style, serve with something light and fresh like seafood or light spring vegetables. If it’s a pinot noir style wine, play around with more powerful aromas like red meats or decadent style chocolate desserts. One of my favourite pairings is the Mumm RSRV Blanc de Noirs 2008 (100% pinot noir) vintage paired with duck confit – the six years of ageing brings complex toasty aromas to the champagne, which go beautifully with a rich-style dish.
OUT AND ABOUT
If you are lucky enough to be celebrating the Melbourne Cup Carnival at a restaurant or event, Kaitlyn suggests that you opt for the classic Mumm Grand Cordon – a delicious champagne that works for every occasion. “If you’re dining out, make sure to try out different menu options with Mumm, as champagne will highlight unexpected features of different foods. Traditionally, champagne pairs well with oysters and seafood, but in our opinion, you can drink it with anything and it will still be delicious! One of my favourite combinations is a glass of Mumm Grand Cordon Rosé with a spicy Thai curry – the fruity and dry style will pair surprisingly well with the spicy creaminess of the curry.”