Champagne Pol Roger has been producing exceptional champagne for over 160 years. To this day the house remains small, family-owned and fiercely independent, with a name for impeccable quality. Indeed, it is this quality which brought about Sir Winston Churchill’s lifelong attachment to Pol Roger, who famously insisted ‘In defeat I need it, in victory I deserve it’.
Pol Roger’s vintage Champagnes are produced only in the best years and from the best vineyards. The 2002 promises to be one of the great Pol Roger Vintages. The ‘Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill’, created in homage to Pol Roger’s most illustrious devotee, is appropriately composed of only the best grapes, from only the best vineyard sites to which Pol Roger have access and from only the finest vintage years declared by the House. As Sir Winston himself once declared: ‘My tastes are simple. I am easily satisfied with the best!’
The precise formula is a family secret, but invariably true to the style that Sir Winston himself preferred: robust, full-flavoured and mature (the Sir Winston Churchill Cuvée is always released later than other Pol Roger vintage champagnes). With the very clean lees, for which Pol is well known, and the particularly cold cellars, the wine has lain undisturbed for over ten years, prior to hand remuage and disgorgement.
2002 was a generally warm year with a particularly mild winter, average rainfall and few climactic problems apart from a few spring frosts and hail showers. Despite a very hot summer the effects of drought were minor. Rains at the end of August and beginning of September came to the rescue. From the 10th September the rains were replaced by warm, sunny weather concentrating the sugars and producing very healthy grapes.
Commenting on the latest release, Cellar Master Dominique Petit said: ‘Making Churchill is relatively easy; one takes the best grapes from the best Grand Cru vineyards in the best years. Each parcel is then vinified separately (after, of course, the standard two cool debourbages) and then, only the best wine is used for the Churchill blend’.
This wine displays an intense golden-yellow hue and a lively stream of defined bubbles. Initially, the nose reveals aromas of freshly squeezed lime and some yeasty notes, before complex aromas of lightly toasted brioche coupled with raisins and candied fruit become apparent. The enticing aromas expressed on the nose are reinforced on the palate, which boasts a powerful, rich structure. It is well-balanced, with intense notes of honey and citrus that lend refreshing acidity. The finish has remarkable length, typical of the 2002 vintage, as well as being both rich and full-bodied.