I know that a wine’s repute can change. Sometimes it is a gradual process, the result of development and evolution. Other times it is sudden, more a revolution, possibly with a change of thinking or personnel. It is wonderful when the changes are for the better. Often we see fortunes change, up and down.
Champagne Mumm has always been a pleasant wine for me. Going through changes of ownership, the style hasn’t changed too much. It has to me been elegant and pretty, sometimes flowery and quite beautiful, and also sometimes a bit inconsequential. The ‘Cordon Rouge’ NV had this character that pleased, but didn’t take you to the heights you really desired. The Cramant was the special wine that did give consistent pleasure, but it wasn’t ‘classic’ Champagne for all that’s individual and good about it.
There has been word that Champagne Mumm has gone up a considerable step, but I hadn’t experienced myself. So when we met up with The Orbiter, he served a 2002 Champagne Mumm Brut Millesime. It was a wow wine. Lovey layers of autolytic complexity, all bundled up in a complete package. Not slight in any way, and more than elegant. It had a subtle strength. Drinking beautifully to the extent that our eyes brightened. And of course, our smiles got bigger. Our host had known the secret about Mumm’s renaissance, and he has now shared it with us.