Fortune favours the brave
The history of the Mumm estate goes back to the entrepreneurial wine merchant Gottlieb Mumm, who in 1811 approached the Schloss Johannisberg estate with a proposal to purchase the entire harvest – quite a risky move since there had been one poor vintage after another from 1808 to 1810. For Gottlieb Mumm, however,it proved to be a case of “fortune favours the brave”: 1811 went down in the history of the Rheingau as a “comet vintage” and Mumm acquired 60,000 litres of outstanding Riesling.
Since this first vintage, G.H. von Mumm has risen to become a member of the Association of German Quality and Prädikat Wine Estate (VDP = Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter e. V.). The VDP, the world’s oldest association of wine estates, has been committed to the correlation of producer, site and quality, a trinity that has helped set high standards in German wine culture. Today, it comprises about 200 very individualistic vintners who share a deep commitment to tradition and quality.
The 50° reference in the name of this wine comes from the location of the vineyards where the grapes for this wine are grown. It’s from the Rheingau region and the 50th degree of latitude runs through the center of the region.
The Rheingau and its incomparably beautiful setting is a feast for the eyes – and for the Riesling grape, a paradise. Conditions here are optimal for enabling this most noble of all grape varieties to truly develop its potential: south-facing slopes that are protected from cold, northerly winds by the Taunus Hills; the influence of the mild Gulf Stream; the Rhine, which is at once a source of moisture and a heat reservoir; and a favorable soils composed of Taunus quartzite beneath a layer of loam-loess. All of these components fulfill the prerequisites needed to produce top-quality Riesling wines.
With terms like spatlese, kabinett, auslese, trocken, halbtrocken, combinations of those terms and more, there is a definite learning curve to understanding German Riesling. These terms all represent different styles of riesling. If you like riesling you have a plethora of styles to choose from. All regions that grow riesling can do different styles, but with Germany you get a consistent taxonomy to the names. This riesling from G.H von Mumm is a trocken, which means it’s a dry style. Orange blossom, lime and mineral aromas give this wine a pleasant nose. The palate has mostly mineral and lime flavors, but there is a hint of peach tucked underneath those. The acidity is stellar and the mouth feel is good. It finishes with mostly mineral flavors, but a touch of green apple gives it some depth.