One of the better known champagne houses, G.H.Mumm is the 4th largest by volume with over 8 million bottles produced annually. Mumm has become well established in the public eye, sponsoring events such as the Melbourne Cup and (for a while) being the victory spray of choice in Formula 1. As part of the Pernod Ricard group, G.H Mumm sits as a sister brand to Perrier Jouet.
Cordon Rouge means “red ribbon”, a homage to the history of the house when it once emblazoned its bottles sent to its best clients with red silk ribbons. Speaking of history, Mumm’s roots are very Germanic, originating from German winemaker P.A. Mumm. After acquiring land in Champagne, they set about developing their sparkling wines under the watch of Georges Hermann Mumm, from whom the modern name is now derived.
The Chef de Cave (chief winemaker) torch at Mumm has recently been passed onto young Didier Mariotti, a man with a reputation as a stickler for quality. He applies this approach right through the wine making process from growing to distribution, personally travelling to international markets to check on warehouse stocks.
Always competing with Moet & Chandon, Mumm excels due to its value. Fancier vintage and long-aged varieties are not out of reach of regular punters wallets. Additionally, offering the standard NV in wide variety of bottle sizes allows Mumm to capture a fair sample of the value minded shopper, and regular sales ensures that bottles are bought and consumed with great speed.
Speaking of speed, does the Mumm in larger bottles taste better for racing drivers when combined with victory – or is there a reason why they spray so much of it all over the place?
From: Reims, Champagne, France
Cost & Source: ~$50 a bottle available from most liquor stores
Blend Ratio: Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Pinot Meunier (45/30/25)
Aging: Typically 2.5 Years
Disgorged: 2016 (2013 Base Vintage)
Sipped: Early December 2016
In the Glass:
Look: Soft and pale golden hues with nice streams of fine bubbles with good life span.
Smell: Soft notes of pastry entwined with Earthy tones, but predominantly sweet fresh zesty fruits.
Taste: There’s always something deceptive about sipping the foam straight off the top right as you serve champagne. In the case of Mumm, the aeration delivers a soft and zippy lemony pillow on the tongue. After this, Mumm becomes a different character with a taste sensation of light bitterness and notes of scorched lemon tart and hard, sour green apples and pears. Sadly, there is also limited depth of flavour – this is a wine that lacks that honeyed sweetness of a bottle that has been aged for a good length of time (to some, this may be a blessing).
Mumm hangs around on the middle of the tongue with a sour dry burn, and lingering flat flavour and fades off after a medium amount of time.
This is second test bottle have had to review. The first was 375ml bottle (2011 base) – it is said that the smaller the bottle the less the quality, with the vessel volume having an effect on the speed of fermentation. It unfortunately didn’t resonate strongly with its drinkers either – hence the retest to a new vintage.
Party Potential: Although Mumm can be sold at a nice, low price tag which can make it appealing for bulk purchasing for larger parties, I would suggest to don’t let the brand clout sway you. At low to mid $40 per bottle – this is a great price region filled with options such as Piper, Lanson and Nicolas Feuillatte which offer competitive alternatives whilst offering superior quality. As BYO Mumm is fine, but if you want a better flavour (and drinking) experience then try another option.
As a Gift: Mumm’s value lies within its brand – it’s a very well-known and popular champagne. Some of their bottle and gift-box designs are also quite nice and useful for up-cycling. These make them ideal gifts for small celebrations.
At Home: Mumm is a nice little bottle to pop on the table at an intimate family gathering to celebrate an award or birthday.
Matching: Mumm provides a slightly difficult match up in the current vintage. I would avoid soft cheeses (I did not have a great experience with camembert). Match with very salt laden items such as chips, popcorn or cured meats, as well as chicken and prawns.
Score & Verdict:
Tasted: 2018 (4.75), 2016 (4.5)
At $50 I feel it is only moderate value for the quality.
How did I drink it?
I had friends over to watch football and this is what we kicked off with. My team lost, but I’m fairly sure that wasn’t the reason I had a slightly bad taste in my mouth. I expect Mumm to bounce back eventually.
How did you drink it?
And how did you find it? Let me know!
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