The wine has been made in Australia by Pernod Ricard Australian sparkling wine specialist Trina Smith, working in collaboration with Mumm Chef de Caves, Laurent Fresnet, who visited Australia in July to taste the base wines made by Smith and discuss preferred components to make the blend.
‘This wine has been planned over several years and we had discussed that its profile would follow the Mumm signature style, which has always been about expressing Pinot Noir,’ said Smith. ‘When Laurent came to Australia, we tasted through the base wines from the 2019 and 2020 vintages, agreed on the ideal blend, and then I took him to visit the sites where we had sourced the grapes in Tasmania, so he could best understand the terroir.’
Smith sourced fruit from several privately-owned vineyards in Tasmania’s northern Pipers River region, specifically because of their reputation for producing superior Pinot Noir grapes that would best suit Mumm’s characteristic flavour profile. These source blocks had not previously been used by Pernod Ricard for its Australian sparkling wines, but Smith had procured some to make her own small-batch sparkling wines.
Access to the best Tasmanian fruit for sparkling wine production is becoming fiercely competitive, with growing numbers of wineries from throughout Australia vying for limited resources. Wine Tasmania has reported that 37% of all grapes from the 2022 Tasmanian vintage are bound for sparkling wine production, noting that Tasmanian sparkling wine sales in Australia have grown from $46m to $74m in the past two years.
Made in a méthode traditionnelle style, Mumm Tasmania Brut Prestige joins the Mumm Marlborough Brut Prestige and Mumm Marlborough Vintage Rosé from New Zealand, which were both launched in 2020.
Smith said that the distinctive character shown in the Tasmania Brut Prestige is the influence of a strong yet supple acid line that gives the wine great elegance and persistence. ‘This acidity is being widely recognised as a distinctly Tasmanian characteristic, and it defines the personality of this wine,’ she said.
‘The addition of some Pinot Meunier to the blend also lifts the wine’s red fruit character, without being overt,’ she added.
Mumm Tasmania Brut Prestige will be available in Australia from late October for $AU40 a bottle. It has been designed primarily for the Australian market, with only small amounts likely for export.