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Average Review Score: 4.9
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Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2008

Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2008

Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2008

Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2008 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: After a rainy but mild winter without any prolonged cold spells, spring arrived with some very localised frosts. Cool weather returned in June and the infrequent sunshine prolonged the feeling of freshness. The spring to autumn weather was bright with sunny spells and the long, hot days and cool nights during September gave the grapes excellent acidity during the harvest period. The 2008 vintage is fast emerging as one of the best since the renowned and now-legendary 2002.

Technical Information:
Vineyards: 100% Grand Cru
Grape Varieties: Family Secret | Likely 65-75% Pinot Noir, 25-35% Chardonnay
Ageing: 8 years on lees
Disgorged: Summer 2017
Dosage: 8 g/l
Drink: Now to 2036+

Tasting Note: A vivid golden colour with the fine stream of bubbles classic to the Churchill style. A slightly held back nose but the flavours on the palate a full of hazelnuts and almonds with an abundance of fresh fruits, citrus and balanced acidity combine to create a well rounded champagne with a great length at the finish.
Champagne Pol Roger History
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Expert Reviews
17.5+/20
Jancis Robinson MW
“Real depth to the nose now. And to the palate. Firm and burly with a bit of chew still. Good density but arguably a slight lack of charm when I think of the Dom Pérignon 2008. Tight-knit and not yet fully unfurled.”
97+/100
William Kelley
“The 2008 Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill continues to stand out as the finest rendition of this bottling released in the last 10 years. Just beginning to enter its early drinking window, it wafts from the glass with aromas of ripe apple, confit citrus and mirabelle plum mingled with notions of sweet spices, honeycomb, dried fruits and crème brûlée. Full-bodied, deep and concentrated, it's layered and complete, with a racy spine of acidity and a long, penetrating finish.”
96/100
Stephan Reinhardt
“Sourced in grand cru vineyards and blending Pinot Noir with Chardonnay, Pol Roger's 2008 Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill displays an intense straw-yellow/white-golden color and opens with a beautifully deep, fresh, concentrated and beautifully aromatic bouquet of perfectly ripe tropical fruits, refreshing lemons, very fine vanilla and brioche aromas. The attack on the palate is fresh and finessed, and in the following seconds, the 2008 reveals great airiness, precision, purity and intensity with a firm, persistent structure in the long, refreshing, perfectly balanced and mouthwateringly salty finish. The 2008 Winston Churchill is a highly complex yet focused and vitalizing prestige cuvée of great, great finesse, chalky expression and exciting elegance. It already drinks great but also indicates immense aging potential. It's most likely one of the finest of this century and one of the greatest Churchills of modern times. Tasted from lot L82002894D in July 2018. Disgorgement date unknown. The wine will be released in the second half of this year.”
100/100
Peter Moser
“Bright golden yellow, silver reflections, very persistent fine mousse. Nuances of brioche and caramel, ripe yellow fruit with hints of lemongrass and bourbon vanilla underneath. Taut, tight texture, ripe peach, yellow apple, finesse, rich, elegant and seamless, textured salty-mineral finish. Super maturation potential.”
News Articles
  1. New Release: Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2008

    New Release: Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2008

    October 2, 2018

    Pol Roger launched their much-awaited prestige cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2008 in London this evening. After the success of their Brut Vintage 2008, described as "one of their greatest ever years", expectations for the prestige cuvée are sky-high.
  2. Coming Soon: Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2008

    Coming Soon: Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2008

    October 1, 2018

    Champagne fanatic and life-long Pol Roger devotee Peter Crawford recently tasted a bottle of Sir Winston Churchill 2008 at the house in Épernay. With its release imminent, Crawford's tasting note suggests it may exceed expectations.
  3. Coming Soon: Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2008

    Coming Soon: Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2008

    August 8, 2018

    Last year, Pol Roger described Sir Winston Churchill 2008 as "the best vintage since 1988 and the most investible Churchill we’ve ever made." Due for release in Autumn 2018, we look forward to what is certain to be one of the most exciting releases this year.
  4. 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..
  5. 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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