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Champagne Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2012

£199.00

Broad and impressive nose, with a distinctive Pinot Noir character that is so familiar of the Cuvée. Notes of Pink Lady apples, Manuka honey and lightly toasted hazelnuts. The texture is broad, as is so often found with Churchill due to the extended time on the lees, but paired back with taut, mineral and precise acidity. The contrast between richness and acidity helps round the wine and gives immediate pleasure, but will grow in complexity over the years for those who can resist


Country: France
Region: Champagne
Vintage: 2012
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.

On the whole winter was mild and dry, however there was a cold snap at the beginning of February. Following cool and rainy weather in early spring, unseasonal warm weather prevailed in late March, favouring an advanced budbreak. This was followed in turn by rain, mild weather and five spells of frost in April and May, of which two gave cause for concern. Furthermore, some vineyards were hit by hail on a number of occasions. These climatic challenges made for great variation in the development of the grapes. Hot, sunny weather from late July through to the first days of September, ensured that the grapes reached an ideal maturity. The yields were low, but the grapes were in excellent health. Harvesting lasted from 10th to 26th September. The 2012 crop showed a potential average alcohol content of 10.6° and a total acidity of 7.8 g/l .

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