Blanc de Blancs Vintage 2013
Pol Roger Blanc de Blancs Vintage 2013
Champagne’s geographical location engenders unpredictable 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
Winter was cold with little sunshine; it was marked by frequent frosts and several incidences of snowfall. The onset of spring-like weather was delayed, and the month of May saw a return of unseasonably low temperatures and high rainfall. June saw a return of normal temperatures. July and August were hot, sunny and dry. A spell of rain at the beginning of September allowed the grapes to swell. Thankfully, drier weather encouraged full maturation of the vines, albeit a fortnight late compared to the average of the last ten years. Harvesting started on 24th September and lasted until 9th October. The 2013 crop showed a potential degree of alcohol of 9.8% vol and a total acidity of 8.4gH2SO4/L.
- Cépage (Chardonnay) 100% 100%
- Dosage (8g/L) 8% 8%
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. Aging in the cellars lasts at least six years, with the UK market benefitting from an extra six months. The very fine and persistent mousse for which Pol Roger is renowned owes much to these deep, cool and damp cellars.
The 2013 Brut Blanc de Blancs is exclusively made from Chardonnay grapes selected from the Grands Crus of the Côte des Blancs: Oiry, Chouilly, Cramant, Avize, Oger and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Produced in limited quantities, this Cuvée has been aged for 6 years in our cellars before being released onto the market.
Blanc de Blancs 2013 is somewhat of an infant compared to its older sibling, the 2012, which was far broader and forthcoming on release. The 2013 is full of vibrancy, lemon peel, elderflower and toasted sourdough. The palate is tightly wound, with a chiselled backbone of acidity, slowly evolving in the glass to open to a richer, broader mouthfeel. The wine is incredibly impressive, pure and defined. Those who have the patience will be truly rewarded in the years to come.