Maison Mumm presented Champagne Mumm Cordon Rouge Stellar last night, the first champagne that can be tasted in weightlessness. Begun in 2017 (read here), this ambitious project now complies with the specifications for safety requirements adapted to weightlessness*. Thus, the collaboration between Maison Mumm and Axiom Space will make it possible to offer Champagne Mumm Cordon Rouge Stellar on the occasion of an upcoming Axiom Space mission, to test the tasting ritual in real space conditions.
Surrounded by the best experts in their field, Maison Mumm continued research and experimentation – in collaboration with Octave de Gaulle, founder of the SPADE agency specializing in the design of space objects, the Center National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES ) and Jean-François Clervoy, French ESA astronaut, veteran of three space missions with NASA – notably during three test flight campaigns. Laurent Fresnet, cellar master of Maison Mumm, also carried out a parabolic flight to guarantee respect for the organoleptic characteristics and the integrity of the wine, to then complete the specific blend of this cuvée.
At the end of this second four-year phase, Champagne Mumm Cordon Rouge Stellar meets the CNES requirements in terms of safety and technical compliance to taste in weightlessness.
According to César Giron, president of Maison Mumm, “ Innovation has been part of Maison Mumm’s identity since 1827, and Mumm Cordon Rouge Stellar is a perfect illustration of this. This project, which brings together excellent French know-how, makes us proud. As early as 1904, Maison Mumm was present with Commander Jean-Baptiste Charcot to celebrate the success of the very first French expedition to Antarctica. “.
A collection of Mumm Cordon Rouge adapted as an impensator
The conditions for tasting champagne in weightlessness are physiologically different with a noticeable change in the sense of smell. The effervescence of champagne is also modified: the bubbles no longer rise to the surface, they do not release the aroma molecules they contain. The sensory sequence is specific: the sight is encouraged first, then the wine – in the form of a frothy foam – comes into contact with the lips and mouth. When it enters the mouth, this foam covers the walls with capillarity. With the decrease in the ability to smell – a central dimension in tasting – the overall perception of wine changes. Some notes are perceived more than others.
Taking into account these specific parameters, Laurent Fresnet chose a blend of Mumm Cordon Rouge made with grapes from the 2016 harvest – including a majority of Pinot Noir, the house’s signature grape variety – and supplemented (up to 36%) with reserve wines from the past five years. “My goal was to preserve the freshness and power of Mumm Cordon Rouge, to enhance the intensity of its aromas with a greater aging and a dosage liqueur made from wines aged in oak barrels explains Laurent Fresnet, cellar master at Maison Mumm. With aging on slats extended to five years, a dosage liqueur made from wines aged in oak barrels brings a touch of vanilla and pastry notes. Laurent Fresnet has thus reinforced the characteristics of the Mumm style to adapt to taste conditions where the senses – smells and tastes – change.
French design and manufacturing for a bottle like no other
To benefit from compliance with the space specifications, Champagne Mumm Cordon Rouge Stellar had to meet a complex set of constraints (gaseous liquid in the absence of gravity, pressure contained in the bottle, food safety, specifications of materials, size, ergonomics, etc. ). All technical issues related to the design were handled by Octave de Gaulle and his agency SPADE, which specializes in the design of space objects, with the active support of CNES and the Comat design office.
Champagne Mumm Cordon Rouge Stellar is made in three parts:
1) Contained in a glass half bottle, the wine is secured with a perfectly reliable stainless steel opening-closing device. Champagne comes into contact only with glass and stainless steel – identical to the mixing vessels at Maison Mumm in Reims – two materials that ideally ensure its preservation.
2) An aeronautical grade aluminum shell which protects the glass bottle and provides double security in the event of a failure in one of the systems.
3) The so-called “service” top consists of a long neck covered with a cork stopper and a ring: a real technological innovation that makes it possible both to ensure safety during transport and uncorking, but also to serve champagne in a new way in weightlessness.
With its futuristic appearance, Champagne Mumm Cordon Rouge Stellar nevertheless presents shapes close to those of the champagne bottle and reproduces as faithfully as possible the ritual of tasting champagne.“Obviously, this project is very stimulating because of its high-tech nature and its 100% French identity, from design to manufacturing. But above all, it is exciting because the technology serves here a larger goal: champagne concentrates the memory of a terroir, a climate, an ancestral know-how and a taste ritual. »comments Octave de Gaulle, founder of the Spade agency.
*“ohnine days prefer weightlessness due to the verbal confusion between “gravity” and “weightlessness”.» CNRS