Champagne Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2004
Champagne Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill 2004 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 flavoursome 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.
Grape Variety: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
Bottle Size: 75cl
Closure: Natural cork
Style: A prestige cuvée that really is worth the expense
Drink With: Caramelised sweetbreads with morels
The pressures of his post sadly prevented Winston Churchill from 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 filly strode to victory at Kempton Park in 1953, the coronation year.
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, finesse 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 Champagnes from Pol Roger, marking the great man’s appreciation for older wines.
The first day of 2004 began under the snow and in the cold, but an unusual mildness set in from 5th January. Apart 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 slowed the ripening 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.
From Stephan Reinhardt writing in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:
An intense golden-yellow colour dresses the Pol Roger prestige cuvée 2004 Sir Winston Churchill, which opens with a clear, deep, dense, ripe, fresh, pure and elegant bouquet of matured apples, apricots and lemon flavours along with exciting spicy flavours. Although this Brut is already more than 11-years-old, it is dew-fresh and still developing - slowly. This Champagne is highly complex and well structured on the palate, with grapefruit flavours; it is a full-bodied and intense, yet very firm, persistent, fresh and very elegant assemblage of unnamed Grand Cru Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. It reveals a very long and complex, powerful but stimulating finish, and obviously, an eternal youth. The finish is powerful and stringent, and reveals a great, great ageing potential. The wine is somewhat restrained and too compact at the moment though, and should benefit from a longer bottle ageing. Drink: 2017-2026. 03/16. 95 Points