Maison Mumm has brought our beautiful city to life with the launch of an exclusive club, RSRV. The champagne house has partnered with acclaimed restaurant Arcane to introduce Mumm’s elite range, RSRV – a selection of four 100% Grand Cru champagnes.
What sets RSRV apart from other Mumm champagnes, you ask? A few elements. These bubblies are exclusively sourced from curated Grand Cru villages, so all the grapes used to make them are of very high quality. They use Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes; no Pinot Meunier is used as Meunier vineyards are not usually graded Grand Cru status. The dosage is kept to a maximum of 6g/L. A low dosage allows the wines to show a better expression of the terroir.
The RSRV champagnes were recently paired with a delectable menu created by award-winning chef Shane Osborn at his Michelin-starred restaurant, Arcane.
A stunning floor-to-ceiling display of wine greets you as you step out of the lift and into Arcane – yes, wine gets my heart rate going. Before I could stand and admire the wine collection, the friendly host handed me a chilled glass of bubbles and guided me to meet the Pernod Ricard team. In the spirit of safety, temperatures were taken, declarations signed and social distancing was in order.
The letters “RSRV” intrigued me. As the evening took off, their meaning became more evident. The story comes from Maison Mumm’s 200-year-old history. RSRV stands for “reserve”, without the vowels. The RSRV line is a tip to the cellar masters at Mumm who used to identify the best wines from the best villages and plots – the Grands Crus – and then set them apart for Maison Mumm’s friends and family. The bottles were marked RSRV.
The sleek, black-labelled bottles carry the same marking – a fold on the right edge, an acknowledgement to the wine connoisseur drinking the bottle that he or she has been allowed into Mumm’s inner circle, to their best cuvées.
We started the meal with Japanese fruit tomato with white gazpacho, grape, almond and sourdough croutons. This was harmony on a plate. The tomatoes were sweet and juicy, and the gazpacho justifiably offset the sweet with savoury. The other ingredients dotted on the plate provided texture and balance. This dish was paired with Maison Mumm RSRV Blanc de Blancs 2012, aged for three years on lees. Notes of citrus zest, pastry and a lively acidity mark the wine.
The previous plate was diligently whisked away, our second glass filled and out came the second course of lightly seared white asparagus with broad beans, artichoke, walnut and sherry dressing. White asparagus is such a treat; it is so seasonal. The white spears were paired with Maison Mumm RSRV Cuvée 4.5. This is their non-vintage offering, which does not behave like a non-vintage. The 4.5 represents ageing on lees for four years and fruit sourced from five Grand Cru villages. This champagne offers a rounder acidity and retains a bouquet of white blossoms, vanilla and raspberry notes. The result is a gentler, aromatic champagne with a lovely bead of bubbles – a perfect complement to the asparagus.
The third course was eagerly anticipated – gnocchi with charred Cévennes onion, shiitake duxelles, Parmesan and black truffle could not disappoint. Arcane deserves a dinner booking just for this dish! This pairing was with Maison Mumm RSRV Blanc de Noirs 2019, made exclusively from Pinot Noir from the village of Verzenay. This gold champagne beautifully complemented the flavours of the caramelised onion petals, the umami notes of the shiitake and the texture of the gnocchi with its charred sides. This champagne brings forth floral notes and those of raspberry, strawberry and buttery croissant. The fruit is ripe, with the dosage of 6g/L just perfect to highlight its acid line and complexity.
Next, our senses were delighted with lightly grilled toothfish with fennel salad, cucumber, spring onion and vadouvan velouté. The pairing was with the iconic Maison Mumm Lalou 2006 vintage. This champagne is elegance personified. Lalou is produced only in the best year, and 2006 was only the ninth time that Lalou has been made. Mumm has crafted a stunner with their top Grand Cru lands, a combination of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir. Aged for 10 years on lees, this wine presents brioche and sweet pastry notes with aromas of toast, lemon curd, mandarin and vanilla. It is intricate with a fine bead, and the acidity is friendly and integrated.
Last but not least, Chef Osborn presented Arcane’s signature dessert of yuzu and lemon posset with white chocolate tuile, mandarin and yoghurt ice cream. While this course wasn’t paired with a champagne, it picked a note from each of them. The citrus notes of yuzu and lemon, the crispness of the tuile and the creaminess of the ice cream were well reflected in the earlier champagnes.
Chef Osborn set out to design a meal that has synergy with Maison Mumm’s RSRV champagnes and to create “Arcane lasting memories”. I would say he achieved his goal.
Foodie readers are invited to join the exclusive RSRV Society with sponsor code ARCANE. Display your membership at your next visit to Arcane and receive a complimentary bottle of Maison Mumm RSRV Blanc de Blancs 2012 (one bottle per table of four, with pairing menu).
Arcane, 3/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central, 2728 0178, book online
This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.
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