The 2015 Brut Vintage is a very pretty Champagne to drink now and over the next decade or so. Gentle hints of apricot, spice, dried flowers and baked apple tart lend quite a bit of nuance. There’s a gorgeous vinous intensity to the 2015 accompanied by a whole range of citrus, floral and chalk overtones that emerge over time, adding brightness and cut. All the elements are so nicely balanced.
Disgorged: November 2021. Dosage is 7 grams per liter.
Drink 2022 - 2032
Antonio Galloni, Vinous.com (March 2022)
Pol Roger's 2015 Brut Vintage is generous and demonstrative, bursting with aromas of golden orchard fruit, nectarine, warm bread, buttered popcorn and orange oil. Full-bodied, broad and vinous, it's rich and fleshy, with a sweet, layered core of fruit, racy acids and a pretty pinpoint mousse.
Stylistically, the 2015 has more in common with the richness and concentration of 2012 than the chiselled raciness of 2013. It's a beautiful bottle in the making.
Drink 2021 - 2041
William Kelley, Wine Advocate (March 2022)
Quite a rich impression at first, and then it tightens up on the zesty, dry finish that's just very slightly light at this point.
Drink 2022 - 2030
Jancis Robinson MW, JancisRobinson.com (May 2022)
Lots of spicy apple with sliced lemons and pears and hints of stone. Full-bodied with soft and layered bubbles that caress your palate. Dusty and succulent. Creamy finish.
Drink or hold
James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (August 2022)
‘Full, generous and voluptuous’ is how 5th generation family member Hubert de Billy describes the 2015 vintage of Pol Roger. Having decided against declaring 2014, the house was far from anxious about the flamboyant 2015 season, which somehow combined periods of humidity with such intense mid-summer heat that there was almost a drought.
Hubert describes the September conditions, however, as ‘a perfect dream scenario’ for harvest and the best fruit from 20 key grand and premier cru villages was earmarked for this wine. Six and a bit years down the track, and there is little to challenge such confidence. This is indeed a very fine Pol Roger, with finesse, complexity and signature Pol pedigree writ large all over its beaming face.
Lively gold with a silver aureole and small, elegant bubbles, the 2015 seduces immediately with its welcoming sunny disposition, spring flowers, citrus fruit and hints of brioche all conspiring in the seduction scene. This is, if anything, accentuated on the palate, with Viennese patisserie, soft honey and hints of frangipane and nougat all tempting the senses.
Beneath it all, classic Pol Roger harmony, every component playing its part and not a hair out of place. Dignified and regal on the finish, the 2015 manages to excite with its sheer vivacity and reassure with its composure. Disgorged: September 2021. Dosage: 7 g/L.
Drink 2022 - 2030
Simon Field MW, Decanter.com (February 2021)
The 2015 Champagne Brut Vintage is 60% Pinot Noir, with the rest Chardonnay, and takes on the more noble feel of the house style. The nose is fragrant and delicate with flint and wet stone, red plum, orange blossom, and spice.
The palate has structure and feels the strength of the Pinot Noir and the warmth of 2015, although it has the underlying structure to last. Dry, balanced, and salty, it will need some time before opening. Allow 1-2 years and drink over the following two decades.
Drink 2024 - 2044
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (November 2022)
About this WINE
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.
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.
Chardonnay is often seen as the king of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.
Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.
It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.
Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.