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Average Review Score: 4.9
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Average Review Score: 4.9
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Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2002
Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2002 Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2002

Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2002

Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2002 >
Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2002 <

Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2002 Overview

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Pol Roger was just nineteen when he founded his estate in 1849. Still a family-run enterprise, fifth generation Hubert de Billy is one of the descendants who manage the House today. With 89-hectares of vineyards supplying half of their grape requirements and illustrious premises containing immaculate facilities including pristinely polished stainless-steel tanks. Today they own 92 hectares of vineyards and its cellars in Epernay, just off the Avenue de Champagne run for 7.5 kms, 34 metres below the ground at a constant 9 Celsius.

Remarkably, a small team of less than ten complete everything in the cellar by hand and Pol Roger boast four of the region's remaining fifteen riddlers, who impressively turn over 60,000 bottles a day. Indeed, it is this style and their respect for tradition that initiated Sir Winston Churchill's lifelong attachment to Pol Roger, who famously insisted: "In defeat I need it, in victory I deserve it." Today, their prestige cuvée is named in honour of the great man.

Sir Winston Churchill's relationship with Pol Roger dates back to 1945 when, during a luncheon given by the British ambassador to France after the liberation of Paris, Churchill met the charming and captivating Odette Pol-Roger. A friendship began which, indulged by his wife Clementine, lasted until his death in 1965. Each year on his birthday, Odette would send Churchill a case of vintage champagne. So close was his relationship with the family that upon his death, Pol Roger put black-bordered labels on all of their bottles destined for the UK. In 1975, Pol Roger went one step further and named their prestige cuvée after him, producing it in the robust and mature style that he liked so much. The exact composition of this cuvée is a family secret but it is likely that Pinot Noir dominates 70-80% of the blend with the remainder being Chardonnay. The grapes are all from Grand Cru vineyards which were under vine during Churchill's lifetime.

Weather: The 2002 vintage shaped up magnificently over the spring, with no significant frost and near-perfect flowering. Then followed a summer marked by long, sunny periods interspersed with regular cloudy and rainy spells. The vines were in good health and the dehydration of the grape berries helped them reach new heights of ripeness. Generally considered one of the best harvests in the last twenty years.

Technical Information:
Vineyards: 100% Grand Cru
Grape Varieties: Family Secret | Likely 70-80% Pinot Noir, 20-30% Chardonnay
Ageing: 10 years on the lees
Disgorged: January 2014
Dosage: 8 g/l
Drink: Now to 2034+

Tasting Note: An intense golden-yellow hue and a lively stream of bubbles. Aromas of freshly squeezed lime are reinforced on the palate, boasting the powerful and rich structure that Churchill so loved. Given its youth, this champagne still holds a lot in reserve but it has a masculine structure and phenomenal length. The only downside with this vintage from Pol Roger is that they selected much less than normal to go into this cuvée, so it's soon going to be a very scarce vintage.
Champagne Pol Roger History
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Expert Reviews
18/20
Jancis Robinson MW
“Magnum. Dense and savoury with a distinct flavour of confit lemon and a dry finish after a rich, lively mid palate. Full and opulent but saved by that dry finish. Drink 2010 – 2024”
News Articles
  1. Churchill Connection: Pol Roger

    Churchill Connection: Pol Roger

    September 23, 2017

    Sir Winston Churchill's relationship with Pol Roger dates back to 1945 when a friendship began between Churchill and Odette Pol-Roger..
  2. Pol Roger: '02, '04, '06, '08, who do we appreciate?

    Pol Roger: '02, '04, '06, '08, who do we appreciate?

    March 7, 2017

    To celebrate the release of Pol Roger Brut Vintage 2008, we put it to the test in a blind vertical tasting of the last four vintages of Pol: 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008. We also threw in the non-vintage for good measure.
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