Brut Vintage 2016
Pol Roger Brut Vintage 2016
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
The first half of 2016 was notable for its record rainfall and intermittent sunshine after a mild and dry November and December. As the vines started to wake up a cold period began in mid-April, peaking on the 27th, delaying bud-break. Full flowering was recorded on 24th June for the Chardonnay and on 25th June for the Pinot Noir and Meunier, roughly ten days behind the average of the past decade. The effects of a few episodes of hail in July were resolved by a warm, sunny August. The little rainfall allowed the soil to dry out and usher in a rapid yet smooth period of fruit ripening. Despite varying levels of maturity between sectors and plots, which required meticulous organisation of the picking, the bunches were harvested under the sun in excellent condition. Four of the last six years have seen picking begin in August, as temperatures in the region increase. The 2016 harvest harkens back to a more classic vintage, with picking occurring later in the year. The harvest began on 10th September and ended in the first days of October. The average potential alcohol content was 9.8% ABV, with an average acidity of 7.5gHˆSO4/L.
- Cépage (Pinot Noir) 60% 60%
- Cépage (Chardonnay) 40% 40%
- Dosage (7g/L) 7% 7%
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. Produced only in limited quantities the Brut Vintage 2016 has been aged for 7 years in our cellars before being disgorged and released onto the market. The very fine and persistent mousse for which Pol Roger is renowned owes much to these deep, cool and damp cellars.
The Brut Vintage 2016 from Champagne Pol Roger is made from the traditional house vintage blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay from 20 Grand and Premier Crus vineyards in the Montagne de Reims and the Côte des Blancs.
The wine opens with a bright, elegant and charming nose which is distinctly Vintage Pol Roger in style. Alluring aromas of lemon peel, tarte au citron and freshly baked madeleines present themselves. With time in the glass, more savoury earth aromas such as roasted hazelnuts and marmalade develop, showcasing the many layers of complexity of
On the palate, the wine has a firm backbone of acidity, balanced with the
characteristically rich, broad Pinot Noir for which Pol Roger is known. A
wine to be enjoyed now, and over the next decade or longer.