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Champagne Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2009


Champagne Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill 2009 has an inviting, bright golden hue and a fine, regular stream of bubbles. At first the refined nose exudes subtle hints of brioche and sweet spice combining with citrus flavours and floral fragrances.             As the wine warms in the glass it becomes more powerful and the nose develops complex nuances of toasted nuts, acacia blossom and honeycomb. The palate is round and creamy supported by notes of fresh fruit.                                                                  The structure is opulent and underpinned by fabulous balance. The finish is long and powerful. Dosage is 7g/Litre.

Tab 1

Country: France
Region: Champagne
Vintage: 2009
Colour: White
Grape Variety: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
ABV: 12.5%
Bottle Size: 75cl
Closure: Natural cork
Style: One of the finest Champagnes produced for many years
Drink With: 18 month old Parmigano Reggiano

The relationship between Champagne Pol Roger and Sir Winston Churchill dates back to a fortunate 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.

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.

After a particularly cold winter, spring 2009 started with fairly mild temperatures, permitting the vines to avoid any frost damage. In spite of some storm spells, this suitable weather pattern boosted the vegetation. June and July were also affected by weather variations, but August became hot and sunny, dry with cool nights leading to a favourable and quick evolution in maturity.                                                                    Harvesting started on September 8th  in excellent sunny conditions  and lasted until September 21st. The grapes were then perfectly healthy and in great condition.

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