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Pol Roger Brut Réserve NV
- Great Domaines
- Wine Advocate
- James Suckling
all ratings out of 100 points.
"Pale yellow. Toasty melon and white peach on the nose, with orange zest and dusty minerals emerging with air. Lively, mineral-laced citrus and orchard fruit flavors show good palate-coating intensity without any excess weight. The clinging finish displays a subtle floral quality and repeating orange and melon notes."
34% Chardonnay / 33% Pinot Noir / 33% Pinot Mugnier
Vineyards & vinification:
The must undergoes two débourbages, 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.
The family maison of Pol Roger was established in 1849, setting out to produce Champagne of quality and finesse. It is one of the only large houses that still remains family-owned, an increasing rarity in this highly commercialised and successful region. Carrying on from his father Pol, Maurice Pol-Roger is the real man behind the bubbles, and is largely responsible for elevating the brand to where it is today. After befriending Maurice’s daughter-in-law, Sir Winston Churchill became their greatest patron and made Pol Roger his bubbly of choice. Our first visit to the maison many years was very special - they welcomed us with a South African flag flying proudly from their building.
Churchill’s support is not forgotten and lives on today in the Pinot Noir-led Prestige Cuveé Sir Winston Churchill, which shines particularly brightly in the great red vintages, 2002 being the next one to keep an eye on. This is not to say their pursuit of quality is neglected in their vintage and non-vintage offerings. Pol Roger’s flagship is their Non-Vintage Brut, affectionately known as “White Foil” in the UK. Proud bearer of the Royal Warrant, the Non-Vintage Brut holds the title as the official Champagne at the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Harvested from over 140 different vineyards, more than 30 base wines are created to make a single, unified non-vintage Champagne.
Their enviable location in Epernay and on the Côte-de-Blancs imparts a delightfully clean minerality, with a delicate fragrance. Pol also offers a Vintage Blanc de Blanc, as well as a Vintage Rosé in the appropriate years. The house is also one of the few producing an extra dry brut with zero dosage, the Pol Roger Pure. Without any sweetness to hide behind, the purity of the base wine becomes the showcase. Another recent addition is the off-dry Pol Roger Rich, their non-vintage demi-sec offering, perfectly suited as an accompaniment to Indian cuisine and subtle desserts.
Although the cellar has been devoid of wood for many years (abandoned in the 1930’s), Pol Roger has a great capacity for ageing, with some of the top vintages being able to lay down for up to 20 years. Ironically, current wine-maker, Dominique Petit, was the former Chef de Cave at Krug - who favour a specific oaking regime to their wines.
Recently retired Christian Pol-Roger sums up the Paul Roger brand succintly: “We’re not the best known, but we’re known by the best.”