G.H. Mumm has just released a trilogy of library vintages: 1996, 1990 and 1985. The 150 magnums of each vintage are recently disgorged and personally signed by cellar master Didier Mariotti. The magnums are priced between 300 and 500 euros. A versatile collection from reputedly great vintages, the 1985 wins this race in its aged elegance and soothing seamlessness.
Collection du Chef de Cave 1996 94p (->96p)
The 1996 vintage is a broad blend from the most classic grand cru villages of Montagne de Reims and Côte des Blancs. Beautiful nose of delicate toastiness and attractive burned sugar richness. Coffee and cream, stone fruits and a super mild mushroomy note. Elegantly staying on the reductive side. The acidity of the 1996 comes across strongly on the lemony and feisty feeling palate of great freshness. Tight and linear but still opulent with some mellowness from prolonged aging. Drinking beautifully now with further aging potential. Perfectly balanced at 8g/l.
Collection du Chef de Cave 1990 91p (->91p)
Quite curiously the warm, south-facing Bouzy and Ambonnay provide the back bone of this ripe vintage. The colour in itself speaks of maturity, and the wine is fully on tertiary aromatics. Syrup, dates, dried apricots, patisserie and honey. Broad and ample palate, feeling weighty and having lost much of its energy already. Chewy and muscular, true to the 1990 vintage. There is still a nice zestiness of acidity coming through at the dry finish, appropriately dosed at 4g/l. Fully mature now but still enjoyable and possessing old wine grandeur.
Collection du Chef de Cave 1985 96p (->97p)
The 1985 is a stunner. Sensuous, delicate aromatics, so seamlessly welded together. Refined toasty notes, coffee and cream, crème brûlée, croissant, orange marmalade, citrus peel and spicy and smoky minerality. It feels like an entire breakfast in one glass. The backbone of the cuvée is formed by Verzy, verzenay and Avize fruit, explaining the freshness and harmony well. Plenty of aging aromas and textural influence, but the wine still remains charmingly lively and complete. It feels like it has plenty of time ahead. Dosage 4g/l.