Champagne

The relationship between Champagne Pol Roger and Sir Winston Churchill dates back to a providential meeting at a luncheon given by the British Ambassador to France some months after the liberation of Paris at which was served the sumptuous 1928 vintage of Pol Roger. Attending the lunch was the beautiful Odette Pol-Roger as well as the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, with whom she struck up an instant rapport. A friendship was born which continued until Churchill’s death, creating links between the Pol-Roger and Churchill families which are still as strong to this day.

The pressures of his post sadly prevented Churchill ever paying a visit to 44 Avenue de Champagne, the home of Champagne Pol Roger, but he nonetheless proclaimed it “the most drinkable address in the world”. As recompense for breaking his promise to visit he sent Odette a copy of his Memoirs inscribed “Cuvée de Réserve, mise en bouteille au Château de Chartwell”. He even named one of his racehorses “Pol Roger” and the lly strode to victory at Kempton Park in 1953, Coronation Year.

THE “CUVÉE SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL”
Champagne Pol Roger created their Prestige Cuvée in homage to Sir Winston Churchill mindful of the qualities that he sought in his champagne: robustness, a full-bodied character and relative maturity. The exact blend is a closely guarded family secret but it is undeniable that the composition would meet with the approval of the man to whom it is dedicated: “My tastes are simple, I am easily satisfied with the best”. Pinot Noir predominates, providing structure, breadth and robustness whilst Chardonnay contributes elegance, nesse and subtlety. Composed exclusively of grapes sourced from Grand Cru Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards which were already under vine during Churchill’s lifetime, “Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill” is only made in the very best vintages and is always released later than the other vintage dated Champagnes from Pol Roger, marking Churchill’s appreciation for older wines.

Dosage

8 g/l
8%
Coffret Churchill 2004 + bouteille@

PREVIOUS VINTAGES OF THE CUVÉE

The first “Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill” was from the 1975 vintage and was released, in magnum only, in 1984, with the launch taking place at Blenheim Palace. There followed 1979, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002 and now 2004. The latest vintage, 2004, is the fifteenth and is released only after 11 years cellaring. Produced in very small quantities, it is available in 75cl bottle and 1.5L magnum.

THE STORY OF THE VINTAGE

The first day of 2004 began under the snow and in the cold, but an unusual mildness set in from 5th January. A part from a few short sharp periods of cold in February and March, this mild and dry weather continued until the spring. Full flowering started on 14th June for the Chardonnay, on 18th June for the Pinot Noir and on 19th for the Pinot Meunier.

A wet and cool early August retarded the maturation of the grapes but the warmth and sunshine during the first three weeks of September encouraged exceptional development of the bunches and the grapes were very healthy at the time of the harvest.

The earliest parcels were picked on the 18th September with the latest on the 2nd October in excellent sunny conditions. A record crop but with healthy ripe grapes picked at a potential average degree of 9.6% and total acidity : 7.1 H2SO4g/l.

TASTING NOTES

The wine is a deep golden-yellow colour with a continuous thread of lingering bubbles.

The elegant nose delivers intense and complex aromas, dominated by enticing notes of dried fruit, toasted almond and honey.

On the palate the wine is full bodied, boasting a powerful, rich structure, yet well-balanced with a refreshing acidity and flavourful notes of citrus fruit.

The finish shows a remarkable length, with creamy notes of butter combined with rich fruitiness of Mirabelle plum and tart, ripe pear.

FOOD PAIRINGS

The weight, balance and mineral freshness means that this champagne could be served with Parmigano Reggiano matured for 18 months, a stuffed capon “facon demi-deuil” or sweetbreads cooked with morels.

Sweet bread morel mushrooms
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