In mid-February, we were supposed to meet in Munich, where Laurent Fresnet was going to present the new RSRV line from Champagne Mumm and I was going to do an interview with him about it. Then he had to cancel at short notice. On March 31, the cellar master of the traditional house in Reims passed away after a short but serious illness at the age of only 56. Mumm published the following message about his death:
A man passionate about terroir and wine has passed away
It is with immeasurable sadness that we share the news of the death of Laurent Fresnet, Maison Mumm’s Cellar Master. Our thoughts go above all to his family and friends, but also to our colleagues who worked with him these last few years, and to all those who knew him.
A native of the Champagne region, Laurent Fresnet joined Maison Mumm in January 2020. He had a personal attachment to the Montagne de Reims, its history, its terroir and its Pinot Noir. César Giron, President of Maison Mumm, said: “Acknowledged by all for his authenticity, his generosity, his kindness and his communicative energy, Laurent Fresnet was beloved by everyone. He brought to Mumm his passion for wine, his affection for the terroir and his vision of excellence. He added an important chapter to the history of the House.”
Laurent Fresnet was born in Reims and grew up in Sillery, one of the 17 Grand Cru villages of Champagne. He came from a family of wine growers that has been making 100% Grand Cru champagnes for five generations between the villages of Mailly and Verzy neighboring Verzenay, the historic terroir of Maison Mumm.
Laurent Fresnet studied in Champagne at Avize, in a renowned research center, and subsequently at the University of Reims, where he majored in enology, biology and biochemistry. He devoted his career to champagne and methode champenoise sparkling wines in France and abroad, most notably in South Africa and in New Zealand.
Rigorous and precise, Laurent Fresnet was recognized by his peers in Champagne for his pragmatic approach, his remarkable knowledge of terroir and his expertise in appreciating the potential of each wine. These qualities led to his being awarded in 2015 and 2016 the International Wine Challenge’s title of ‘Sparkling Wine Maker of the year.’
We will miss Laurent Fresnet immensely.
(c) Image: Maison Mumm