(2018) From a low-yielding vintage, this is a fabulous wine from Taittinger, a 50/50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with 9g/l of residual sugar. Chardonnay is sourced primarily from the Grands Crus of the Côte des Blancs, and Pinot Noir primarily from those of the Montagne de Reims. Fabulously toasty and nutty on the nose, there's an all-encompassing feeling of luxurious depth, then the palate bursts through with a deal of sweetness - fruit rather than sugar, and electrifying acidity, a gorgeous, fleshy plum fruitiness and lovely weight and texture, the finish long with more of those toasty notes to beguile. Use wine-searcher to find plenty of independent stockists, plus big names like Majestic and John Lewis.
(2016) The Lodge Hill Shiraz is a strapping, spicy, sweet mulberry fruited red with plenty of coffee and vanilla, but the sheer concentration of fruit is what drives the palate. Sweet and ripe, all the time it is buttressed by quite big, beefy tannins and fresh balancing acidity.
(2012) This is only Mumm's second vintage of this prestige cuvée, a 50/50 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from seven specific vineyards in Grand Cru villages including Aÿ, Ambonnay, Cramant and Avize. In fact it is a revival of a Champagne produced until 1985, and named after a former chairman of the company. Part fermented in new oak, the nose certainly has brioche, nougat and a touch of hazelnut, but there's a linear, cool minerality too that suggests tension and precision. A little honeyed note too. In the mouth the mousse is ultra-fine, the bubbles persistent but gentle, and this is quite a vinous, broad wine with plenty of flavour. The dosage is low (6g/l) but there's a fairly soft, expansive quality to this whilst the white fruit precision is there. This is a gastronomic Champagne, that has the charm to drink as a classy aperitif, but which would be even better with some seared scallops as a Christmas dinner starter. Mumm suggest a richer dish - Iberico ham with fried wild mushrooms on brioche - as an ideal match.