Twelve pieces of dirt
Has GH Mumm found its soul again? Tom Stevenson believes so, even though he once wrote that "It took more than 160 years to build Mumm's reputation, and less than a decade to demolish it."
After tracking Mumm's recent renaissance, he tells the ups and downs from behind the scenes of its 11-year quest to establish a special new prestige cuvée - Cuvée R Lalou - as the cornerstone of its
Cuvée R Lalou
by Tom Stevenson
Lionel Breton eyed me from across the table at L'Assiette Champenoise and declared, "I heard that you once
refused to visit Mumm." It was not so much a statement, as an invitation to elaborate, so I replied: "That's not true. I refused to visit many times."
Breton - a Pernod Ricard man, and the chairman and CEO of Martell Mumm Perrier Jouët - nodded for me to continue. The
truth is I didn't want to do anything at that particular moment other than savor Arnaud Lallement's heavenly Asperge Verte de
Robert Blanc, but Breton had finished his trio of asparagus and obviously had other ideas.
The story began, I told him, with repeated efforts by Mumm in the mid-1990s to get me to visit their new facilities. I had dropped
in on Mumm several times throughout the early to mid-1980s, but I had a backlog of growers on
my must-visit list and absolutely no incentive to see Mumm while it was churning out Champagne I could not drink, let alone
recommend. I recently wrote up the story of Mumm and Cuvée R Lalou, the Champagne that might just have changed all that, for World of Fine Wine magazine.
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