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Mystery Champagne Bottle

bradurani Jun 16, 2012 04:39 PM

Can anyone put a date on this bottle? Serial number is 10577504
Is it still good? Is it worth anything?

  1. maria lorraine Jun 16, 2012 07:28 PM

    No, it's not worth anything, other than some drinking pleasure you might derive from it,

    Those numbers are a blending code, and probably from a bottling in the recent past.

    Cordon Rouge is the "house wine" of Champagne Mumm. It's a non-vintage wine -- so there'll be no vintage date on it. It's not meant to last for more than 5 to 10 years.

    Even if the wine were an older vintage Champagne, it would only be of value if the year were
    a historical one or someone needed that particular year to complete a collection.

    Get the bottle cold and pop it. The flavors (if there are any) may only be *alive* for only a half-hour,
    so enjoy it quickly if it tastes all right. Have a backup bubbly in case the wine is past its prime.

    1. b
      Brad Ballinger Jun 16, 2012 07:55 PM

      How long have you had it? Do you know, even approximately, when it was first purchased?

      As maria lorraine wrote, it's a non-vintage wine. This *almost always* means the wine is a blend of wines from multiple recent vintages. *Most* non-vintage wines, especially from large houses like Mumm, are released when ready to drink and *generally* do not improve with long-term aging (but that depends on the kind of style one likes in Champagne).

      A shot in the dark, would be to e-mail the serial number to Mumm. They *might* have informatoin regarding reserve wines of this particular batch as well as the disgorgement date (the date the finish the bottle for shipping).

      I can answer with certainty that there is no monetary value other than what someone once paid for it.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Brad Ballinger
        bradurani Jun 18, 2012 04:16 AM

        It's at least 20 years old. I assume it's probably syrup then?

        1. re: zin1953
          kagemusha49 Jun 18, 2012 04:17 PM

          Champagne is one of the few white wines that holds up pretty well to age. I'd certainly cool and taste the stuff before deciding to throw it out.

          1. re: kagemusha49
            zin1953 Jun 18, 2012 04:22 PM

            While I agree with your first sentence, let us not forget it's Mumm Cordon Rouge we're discussing here, which a) is not a wine known to age well, and b) if it's 20+ years old, comes from a time when Mumm's wasn't doing very well to begin with.

          2. re: bradurani
            ChefJune Jun 22, 2012 11:14 AM

            I'd chill it (along with a backup bottle) and pop it. No serious harm done, and it might still actually be drinkable. If it isn't, you've got the backup bottle.

        2. ellaystingray Jun 22, 2012 01:39 PM

          My 2 cents.

          Agreed that it is likely a crapshow inside but you never know.

          I was a distributor rep selling Mumm Cordon Rouge during the mid/late 90's (almost 20 years ago) and that bottle is easily much older than that. Sadly Jason (Zin) is correct when he notes that the 90's were not the best for Cordon Rouge as Seagram's was kind of making a mess of things around that time. Though I did sell a good amount of the Mumm De Cramant which was (and still is) a nice little bottle of bubbles.

          I have no proof of this at all but I am going to go at least pre 1990. Based on a quick google image search, I'd even go so far as to say it might be from the 70's. And while there were vintage Cordon Rouge's made around that time, this doesn't appear to be one. Also, the "1 Pint 10 Fluid Ounces" on the label is intriguing. If you are so inclined as to show side shots of the front label and one of the back/importer label we might be able to do a little more eno-archaeology.

          Unfortunately, this probably all leads back the original point that the juice likely blows. Then again we have all opened bottles we thought would be dead that somehow betrayed death..

          10 Replies
          1. re: ellaystingray
            maria lorraine Jun 22, 2012 05:48 PM

            Not that it really matters, because the wine is probably awful, but I checked the blending code above against those from other years, and my guess is the wine is only about 10-12 years old.

            1. re: ellaystingray
              bradurani Jun 23, 2012 02:51 PM

              Thanks for your help, here are a few more snapshots

              1. re: bradurani
                zin1953 Jun 23, 2012 03:27 PM

                Given the fact the importer is Brown Vintners, and not Seagram's Classics -- this wine is definitely from the 1980s or earlier.

                1. re: zin1953
                  maria lorraine Jun 23, 2012 05:32 PM

                  It's like wine forensics. Thanks, Jason. Question: Browne Vintners imported G. H. Mumm at least until they merged with Seagram Classics in 1990, right? There's a chance -- but I don't know -- the Mumm would still have the Browne back label while they were a wholly owned sub-subsidiary of Seagrams, so the vintage could be after 1990 also. Maybe you know the specifics.

                  1. re: maria lorraine
                    zin1953 Jun 24, 2012 08:51 AM

                    Was it that late? 1990? I thought it was earlier . . . back when I was one of the corporate buyers for Liquor Barn back in the mid-to-late 1980s, and I'm fairly certain we dealt with Seagrams Classics (Mumm) and Chateau & Estates (Perrier-Jouët). Browne Vintners was gone by then, though I certainly dealt with them in the 1970s and, IIRC, early 1980s.

                    I tried to "google" it, but with all the corporate mergers/take-overs, all I get are old advertisements from the 1930 and 1940s being offered on eBay! ;^)

                2. re: bradurani
                  Brad Ballinger Jun 23, 2012 06:34 PM

                  I'm curious as to whether or not the "store this bottle horizontally" directive is still on the back label nowadays or no.

                  1. re: Brad Ballinger
                    maria lorraine Jun 23, 2012 09:46 PM

                    Gosh, don't know, but I think it's hilarious.

                    1. re: maria lorraine
                      kagemusha49 Jun 24, 2012 10:00 AM

                      Why is it hilarious? Not everyone would know to do that. Now if they said to rotate the bottle 1/4 turn every day . . .

                      1. re: kagemusha49
                        goldangl95 Jun 25, 2012 11:26 AM

                        I believe it may be hilarious as many believe the best way to store bubbles is actually standing up...could be wrong though

                        1. re: goldangl95
                          kagemusha49 Jun 25, 2012 01:46 PM

                          That would be a revelation to millions of Frenchmen.

              2. ellaystingray Jun 25, 2012 08:24 AM

                Thanks for the other pics. I knew the denizens of the board would be able to help. :)

                1. b
                  bradurani Jun 26, 2012 06:18 AM

                  I just received confirmation from Mumm & Co. This bottle is from 1963!

                  Après une petite plongé dans les livres d’étiquettes, je peux affirmer que cette étiquette correspond aux étiquettes pour les Etats-Unis modifiées à partir du printemps 1963. La ligne. Donc si votre traçabilité commence en 1964 on peut raisonnablement fixé la date d’habillage de cette bouteille en 1963.

                  Nathalie Bisson,
                  QSE Assistant
                  Champagne G.H. Mumm - Champagne Perrier-Jouët

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bradurani
                    Dave_in_PA Jun 26, 2012 06:48 AM

                    That is so cool. But Mumm didn't offer to buy it back from you, did they.

                    Chill it, open it and if it's any good drink it fast before it turns brown.

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