Champagne’s geographical location engenders capricious weather. For this reason, since their foundation in 1849 Pol Roger has observed the tradition of not releasing a vintage-dated champagne unless the climatic conditions permit the production of grapes of outstanding ripeness. A vintage champagne must, above all else, be a balanced champagne. This balance depends on the right blend of healthy grapes, a good potential alcohol and correct acidity. The first criterion for declaring a vintage wine is its capacity to age. Devotees who have the patience to age their champagnes are rewarded with a more complex and richer wine.
THE STORY OF THE VINTAGE
Following some frost in December, the beginning of 2008 was marked by mild and humid weather conditions. However by contrast, March and April were cool and rainy, even hit by spells of snow and frost. Good temperatures in May rapidly boosted growth. The summer months were characterised by extremely variable weather, with storms in July, cool weather and limited sunny periods in August. The « Véraison » (changing of colour and onset of ripening) started in early August and by this point, the conditions in the vineyard were outstanding. September brought excellent weather, and the picking started on 15th September in sunny conditions. The grapes were healthy, and the sugar/acidity balance, perfect.
VINIFICATION AND MATURATION
The must undergoes two débourbages (settlings), one at the press house immediately after pressing and the second, a débourbage à froid, in stainless steel tanks at 6°C over a 24 hour period. A slow cool fermentation with the temperature kept under 18°C takes place in stainless steel, with each variety and each village kept separate until final blending. The wine undergoes a full malolactic fermentation. Secondary fermentation takes place in bottle at 9°C in the deepest Pol Roger cellars (33 metres below street level) where the wine is kept until it undergoes remuage (riddling) by hand, a rarity in Champagne nowadays. The very fine and persistent mousse for which Pol Roger is renowned owes much to these deep, cool and damp cellars.
Pol Roger does not make a Non-Vintage Rosé, preferring to release only in vintage years. The Brut Rose Vintage is produced from a blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay drawn from some 20 Premiers and Grands crus on the “Montagne de Reims” and the “Côte des Blancs”. In order to obtain its delicate colour and subtle nose 15% Pinot Noir, from selected vineyards in Bouzy, Ambonnay and Cumieres, is vinified “en rouge” and added to the blend prior to the second fermentation.
Produced only in limited quantities the Rosé Vintage 2008 has been aged for 6.5 years in our cellars before being disgorged and released onto the market.
An intense pink peppercorn colour with a fine stream of persistent bubbles. The nose has aromas of red fruits and summer berries. On the palate the first impression is freshness with notes of fragrant wild strawberry, this develops into creamy ripeness with a hint of vanilla. If the wine is allowed to blossom in the glass, a further layer of citrus aromas appears, with notes of grapefruit on the finish.
The wine boasts a linear structure and rare finesse complemented by intensity of flavour. This is a Rosé Champagne with great personality.
The Brut Rosé 2008 is the ideal choice to accompany fish such as grilled salmon or even sushi. It also marries perfectly with fruit tarts and other fruit desserts; try pairing with a forced Rhubarb fool, the sharpness of the fruit complementing the elegant structure of the wine.
Wine Enthusiast 2016 : 94 / 100
« This ripe wine with its red fruits and well balanced texture is beauti-fully ready to drink, with just the right crisp acidity to balance the soft richness. There is no sign yet of maturity, the fruit from this great vin-tage showing at its perfumed best. » Roger Voss
Wine Spectator 2016 : 93 / 100
« Flavors of strawberries and cream, singed orange peel and maca-roon are layered on the finely meshed frame of this rich rose Cham-pagne. Elegant finish. Drink now through 2028. » Alison Napjus
Le Guide des meilleurs vins de France 2017 : 17 / 20
Guide des vins Bettane et Desseauve 2017 : 18 / 20