1999 Pol Roger, Sir Winston Churchill

1999 Pol Roger, Sir Winston Churchill

White, Ready, but will improve   White | Ready, but will improve | Pol Roger | Code: 952201 | 1999 | France > Champagne > Brut Champagne | Champagne Blend | Medium-Full Bodied, Brut | 12.5 % alcohol


Scores and Reviews

JANCIS - This was made in the 150th anniversary of Pol Roger and represents a fine celebration. Very firm and dense, probably best kept for a few months (I tasted it on release in the UK). That said, the haunting nose filled the room as soon as the cork was popped. Solid food wine. I honestly think it would be wasted poured at a busy reception; it needs some contemplation. Still quite chewy on the finish. Very persistent. All Grand Cru vineyards that were under vine during Winnie's lifetime. Very much Pinot-dominant. Supposedly only 1,200 bottles made. Almost a champagne to have with a cigar, appropriately enough. This was the first vintage of their de luxe champagne made by the new team at Pol Roger.
Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com - Feb 2010

LYONS - A serious, grand Champagne that deserves to be savored. I have tasted this golden wine with a bright, white mousse several times and am always surprised by its bite and power. With layers of complexity, it has mature, spicy notes and a long, concentrated finish.
Berry Bros. & Rudd wines featured in The Wall Street Journal by Will Lyons - 21 June 2013

Will Lyons writes a weekly column for The Wall Street Journal. His humorous, informed, down-to-earth writing has been recognized in both the Glenfiddich and Roederer wine writing Awards. He began his career in London, as a wine merchant in St. James’s where he developed a love for the classic wines of Europe. He has written for a variety of publications including The Scotsman, Reader’s Digest, The Spectator and Decanter.

WA - The 1999 Brut Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill, from magnum, is wonderfully rich and expansive, proving yet again just how well suited the big bottle is to Champagne. Smoke, peaches, mint and flowers are just some of the nuances that flow from this textured kaleidoscopic Champagne. The wine continues to gain focus and breadth through to the enticing, brilliant finish.
Antonio Galloni Wine - Advocate #192 Dec 2010

The Story

Pol Roger


Pol Roger

Pol Roger is perhaps best known as Winston Churchill's favourite Champagne. The house remains family-owned and has a reputation for producing champagnes of finesse and elegance which age very well. Pol Roger Brut Rèserve Non-Vintage, made from equal parts of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, is consistently one of the very best on the market, largely due to the high proportion of aged reserve wines in the blend.

Pol Roger vintage wines, made from at least 60% Pinot Noir and up to 40% Chardonnay, are soft and fruit-driven in youth but, after ten years or so, develop great complexity and finesse. The Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill, launched in 1984 and made from a secret blend, is a Champagne of exquisite finesse and balance and one that rivals the very best of the region.


Champagne Blend

Champagne Blend

Which grapes are included in the blend, and their proportion, is one of the key factors determining the style of most Champagnes. Three grapes are used - Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.

26% of vineyards in Champagne are planted with Chardonnay and it performs best on the Côtes des Blancs and on the chalk slopes south of Epernay. It is relatively simple to grow, although it buds early and thus is susceptible to spring frosts. It produces lighter, fresher wines than those from Burgundy and gives finesse, fruit and elegance to the final blend. It is the sole grape in Blancs de Blancs, which are some of the richest long-lived Champagnes produced.

Pinot Noir accounts for nearly 40% of the plantings in Champagne and lies at the heart of most blends - it gives Champagne its body, structure, strength and grip. It is planted across Champagne and particularly so in the southern Aube district.

The final component is Pinot Meunier and this constitutes nearly 35% of the plantings. Its durability and resistance to spring frosts make the Marne Valley, a notorious frost pocket, its natural home. It ripens well in poor years and produces a soft, fruity style of wine that is ideal for blending with the more assertive flavours of Pinot Noir. Producers allege that Pinot Meunier lacks ageing potential, but this does not deter Krug from including around 15% of it in their final blends.


Brut Champagne

Brut denotes a dry style of Champagne (less than 15 grams per litre). Most Champagne is non-vintage, produced from a blend from different years. The non-vintage blend is always based predominately on wines made from the current harvest, enriched with aged wines (their proportion and age varies by brand) from earlier harvests, which impart an additional level of complexity to the end wine. Champagnes from a single vintage are labelled with the year reference and with the description Millésimé.

Non-vintage Champagnes can improve with short-term ageing (typically two to three years), while vintages can develop over much longer periods (five to 30 years). The most exquisite and often top-priced expression of a house’s style is referred to as Prestige Cuvée. Famous examples include Louis Roederer's Cristal, Moët & Chandon's Dom Pérignon, and Pol Roger's Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill.

Recommended Producers : Krug, Billecart Salmon, Pol Roger, Bollinger, Salon, Gosset, Pierre Péters, Ruinart

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