On Saturday night we shared a bottle of G. H. Mumm Brut Rosé NV at a very special dinner at Ocean Room, a Japanese restaurant with a jaw-dropping interior and a birds-eye view of the Sydney Opera House. This fresh and fragrant wine with a fine beaded mousse and very long finish worked beautifully with our Oyster Duo entree: a pacific oyster with granny smith apple vinaigrette and a rock oyster with Yamazaki whisky and white balsamic air.

The G.H. Mumm Cuvée R. Lalou Prestige 1999 was also one of the highlights at the recent Vintage Cellars Double Bay Champagne tasting. It is only the second release of a very special cuvée, named in honour of the House’s celebrated chairman René Lalou, who ran Mumm from 1939 to 1973. A former incarnation of the cuvée, also bearing his name, was produced from 1966 to 1985 and then suspended from production.

In 2007, the first release of the Cuvée R. Lalou Cuvée Prestige 1998 not only heralded the revival of this legendary cuvée but marked a turning point for the Champagne House, confirming its return to a superior quality that is now reflected across the entire range.

In the 1980s and early 1990s Mumm experienced a bit of a slump. In his authoritative Encyclopaedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine, Tom Stevenson says, “Mumm’s reputation as a truly great Grande Marque took over 160 years to build, but was demolished in barely more than a single decade.”(Keeping Mumm: Dominique Demarville and the Men at Mumm by Tom Cannavan, Wine-Pages, February 2006)

Fortunately, since then significant changes were implemented in both the vineyard and winery that have reinvigorated the brand and restored its fabled reputation.

One of the most important changes was understanding the source material of great Champagne. Managing director Jean-Marie Barillière and former chef de cave Dominique Demarville conducted an in-depth appraisal of the best and oldest of Mumm’s 218 hectares of vineyards, 160 of which are designated grand crus… [Read More]