- Tuesday 14 December 2010
The snow and freezing conditions couldn't deter the 60 or so guests who made it to the Pol Roger dinner at The Ledbury early December, the exclusive event put together by London broker, Bordeaux Index.
Established in 1849, Pol Roger remains a family-owned and independent house. One of the smallest in Champagne it may be (87ha of vineyards in the Vallée d’Epernay and the Côtes de Blancs regions and 7km of cellars below the streets of Epernay) but it has soundly established a name for producing some of the best Champagnes on the market. The house's top cuvée is named after Sir Winston Churchill – legend insists he consumed an impressive 42,000 bottles! Even so, the Pol Roger range includes a style for every taste bud and budget.
Pol Roger, Brut Vintage (magnum) 1990
Beautiful fruit ripeness showing a nice development. The palate is complex and rich but still has a crisp acidity, very harmonious and well-balanced with some attractive honey notes on the finish.
Pol Roger, Brut Vintage (magnum) 1998
Lovely freshness on the nose with yeasty and bready aromas and a whiff of honey. Quite creamy on the palate, with direct acidity. Very elegant with a nice minerality on the finish.
Pol Roger, Brut Vintage (magnum) 1995
Creamy and rich on the nose with some warm brioche aroma. Great texture and depth on the palate with bready charcaters and ripe fruits, complex and still very young; nice development on the finish.
Pol Roger, Brut Vintage 1966
An interesting opportunity to try a 40-plus year old vintage. 1966 was actually a very small harvest, and the wine now shows a deep goldish colour. Some oxidative notes were present, together with toffee and marzipan flavours. The wine still has a sharp acidity but the fruit is over-developed. Past its best.
Pol Roger, Blanc De Blancs 1996
Produced from an outstanding vintage, the wine has great definition and vivacity. It's complex and full, but with elegant floral and white fruit characters.
Pol Roger, Brut Vintage (magnum) 2000
Not a great year, though the wine is forward with plenty of delicious white fruit and a hint of honey. The palate is complex and rich and shows beautiful fruit development. Very enjoyable wine.
Pol Roger, Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill (magnum) 1999
Mostly Pinot Noir with some Chardonnay. Elegant but restrained on the nose; nice creamy aromas. The palate is rich and complex, with layers, and has a long finish.
Pol Roger, Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill (magnum) 1998
Showing beautifully: attractive white fruit aromas with hints of honey and well-integrated breaded notes. The palate is pure and fresh and has layers of fruit, well-structured too. A very elegant style. Drinking really well now.
Pol Roger, Rose 2002
Lovely brilliant pink colour. Beautiful strawberry scent with some citrus notes. The palate is surprisingly rather full bodied and has a nice red fruit complexity. A very vibrant style of Champagne.
Pol Roger, Blanc De Blancs 1999
1999 is far from being an outstanding year but the wine is actually showing very well, with elegant notes of white flower and peaches. The palate is soft, fresh and elegant and displays a long finish.
Pol Roger, Brut Reserve
This classic NV needs no introduction. It's one of the best value brands on the market. It's fresh and bready with zesty fruit on the palate, beautiful structure, long length and a nice complexity.
Pol Roger, Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill 1996
An amazing Champagne from an outstanding vintage, though the wine is still very young. Full and complex with a very tight structure, ripe fruit characters and some honey notes. Approachable now but will develop to a beauty within the next 10 years - up to 2020.