Pol Roger, Sir Winston Churchill 2008
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.
Released in October of last year, Pol Roger's 2008 Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill is showing brilliantly, unfurling in the glass with a complex bouquet of waxy citrus rind, dried white flowers, freshly baked bread, iodine and honeyed yellow apple. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, powerful and vinous, with a deep and multidimensional core, broad structural shoulders and considerable concentration, girdled by tangy acids and displaying a youthfully frothy but incipiently fine mousse. The finish is long and intense. This is a terrific rendition of this reliably superb cuvée and well worth seeking out.
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.