21st June, 2013 by Lucy Shaw
Champagne G.H. Mumm released its 2006 vintage in London last night, with chef de cave Didier Mariotti admitting that the wine needed a little “coaxing out.”
Mumm’s chef de cave Didier Mariotti believes the 2006 vintage needs to be coaxed out
Speaking at the launch dinner held at The Ritz in Piccadilly last night, Mariotti told the drinks business: “The 2006 vintage is a bit shy at the moment.
“You need to be patient and age it a bit longer after disgorgement in order to coax it out of its shell.”
The first vintage Mariotti was solely in charge of at Mumm, he was asked to keep the spirit of the house alive by using a majority of Pinot Noir in the blend.
Keen to make an elegant wine, Mariotti selected the majority of the Pinot grapes for the blend from the Montagne de Reims villages of Verzy and Verzenay, a move he feels has bought more “strength” and “crispness” to the wine.
“It was a challenge to maintain freshness in 2006 because it was a vintage of naturally low acidity, so you lose a bit of structure and complexity on the entry,” Mariotti told db.
He admitted however, that he likes to keep people guessing at the beginning.
“I try to keep the wine hidden at the start and the 2006 vintage is a good way to do this – it’s all about the details at the moment; it has a subtle bitterness on the finish, which I like,” he said.
A blend of 64% Pinot Noir and 36% Chardonnay, the wine was aged for five years before being given a deliberately low dosage of 6g/l on disgorgement.
Champagne expert Tom Stevenson, who attended the launch, described the 2006 vintage as “discreet.”
“It was a strange vintage so it’s hard to make a direct comparison. While it was low in acidity, the wines were high in malic acid so have a crispness to them.
“If I had to compare it to another, it would be the ‘mercurial’1999 vintage,” he said.