The associations between Winston Churchill and the house of Pol Roger are many and various. Churchill famously claimed to be 'easily satisfied with the best', and stuck fastidiously to Pol Roger throughout his life; Pol estimates he may have gotten through 42,000 bottles. The connection long predated his close friendship with Odette Pol-Roger, under whose spell he fell at a 1944 luncheon to celebrate the liberation of Paris. To this day and thanks to Churchill, Pol Roger is the only Champagne served at the British Embassy in Paris. It seemed only fitting that when Pol Roger chose to launch a premium cuvee with the 1975 vintage, they named it after their most famous customer.
It is a cuvee that is only made in the best vintages; the 2009 is released to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. And it is a very fine vintage to do so; reflecting the style of Champagne favoured in Churchill's days, the blend is always long on Pinot Noir, and Pinot excelled in 2009. The grapes come from grand and premier cru vineyards, where the vine stock dates back to Churchill's lifetime. Riddling and disgorging are still done by hand, making this very much a handmade product.
Churchill himself favoured aged, vintage Champagnes (the 1928 was a favourite) and this cuvee is one made to his tastes; robust, full-bodied, mature. As a cuvee, it can often seem forcefully structured, tight and powerful, built to last but sometimes hard to approach on release. Yet on tasting the 2009 I was struck by how open and pretty it was. To be sure, the palate is unquestionably coiled and structured. But it also offers a deliriously beguiling bouquet of brioche, blossom and candied flowers. /NT
Offered subject to remaining unsold; available Spring/Summer 2020
To place an order, click on the wine name below, reply to this email, or call 020 7638 5998
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