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Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2012

Mix 12
Mix 6
Per Bottle
Delivered Wed 28th Sep Same Day - cost based on mileage from Islington
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Delivered Thu 29th Sep DHL Next Working Day from £9.30
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Description & Technical Information
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.

Weather: The 2012 weather has been hallmarked by many as very challenging but has created some stunning Champagne. Winter was mild and dry with 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 hard frost in April and May and some local hail. 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, following all the "weather events," were low, with grapes in excellent health. Harvesting started 10th and finished 26th September. The 2012 crop showed a potential average alcohol content of 10.6° and a total acidity of 7.8 g/l.

Technical Information:
Vineyards: 100% Grand Cru
Grape Varieties: Family Secret | Likely 70-80% Pinot Noir and 20%-30% Chardonnay
Ageing: 7.5 years on lees
Disgorged: July 2020
Dosage: 7 g/l
Drink: Now to 2030+

Tasting Note: No hesitation a solid 19/20. Like many 2012’s the aromatics are powerful and forward, there is a blend of tropical notes, particularly pineapple and a rich zesty lemon sherbet going to buttery pasty. This all suggests there is a reasonable slug of Chardonnay in the 2012 blend! The Pinot Noir element seems more recessive at this point. Grapefruit comes through on the palate and a creamy lemony pastry, bundles of fruit, underlying freshness on the palate and the lees and fruit have given a creamy soft texture. Zingy lemon, grapefruit and twist of raspberry hang on the finish. A stunning 2012, forward and very seductive. Nick Baker TFB Founder 9th March 2021.
Champagne Pol Roger Overview
Expert Reviews
Antonio Galloni
“Pol Roger's flagship Brut Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill is fabulous in 2012. Rich, open-knit and seductive, the 2012 will drink well right out of the gate, although it certainly has the pedigree to age well for decades. Lemon confit, chamomile, dried flowers, mint, spice and a kick of brioche infuse the 2012 with notable textural richness and resonance. Time in the glass brings out gorgeous aromatic lift to round things out. The 2012 is classy and polished all the way.”
William Kelley
“Pol Roger's newly released 2012 Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill is showing brilliantly, bursting from the glass with youthful aromas of honeyed pears, toasted brioche, pomelo, fresh pastry, green apple and mandarin orange, with hints of stone fruit emerging with time in the glass. Full-bodied, vinous and textural, with an enveloping core of fleshy, concentrated fruit, bright acids and an elegant pinpoint mousse, it concludes with a long, penetrating finish. More muscular and vibrant than the generous and charming 2009, the 2012 ranks alongside the 2008 and 2002 as one of the three finest renditions of Sir Winston Churchill this millennium—and in style it resembles a hypothetical blend of those two vintages.

Pol Roger releases the 2012 Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill this week, so in the interests of timeliness, I'm publishing this tasting note in advance of a substantial Champagne report slated for later this month. In that report, readers can look forward to—inter alia—reviews of Pol Roger's other current releases. But in the meantime, this superb 2012 merits serious attention. Drink: 2022 - 2045”
Jancis Robinson
“Admirably modest bottle weight and packaging for a de luxe champagne. Bravo, Pol Roger! (It might not win a prize for the design but it's not an extra burden on the planet.) All grand cru fruit and, most unusually, all hand-riddled. 'The must undergoes two débourbages (settlings), one at the press house immediately after pressing and the second, a débourbage à froid, in stainless steel tanks at 6 °C over a 24-hour period. A slow, cool fermentation with the temperature kept under 18 °C takes place in stainless steel with each variety and each village kept separate. The wine undergoes a full malolactic fermentation prior to final blending. Secondary fermentation takes place in bottle at 9 °C in the deepest Pol Roger cellars (33 metres below street level) where the wine is kept until it undergoes remuage (riddling) by hand, a rarity in Champagne.'
Rather open on the nose – a surprise! Looser textured than some and still decidedly embryonic. It does open out rather remarkably on the finish, suggesting that it is very much a long-distance runner. I think I would wait until at least 2022 to take full advantage of that interplay of flavours underneath, where it is positively throbbing!”
93 → 95/100
Essi Avellan MW
“Medium-deep lemon-gold colour. Soft and overt nose of spicy, yeasty complexity meeting a lovely charred gunpowdery whiff. Crisp pristine fruitiness of ripe yellow apple, baked pear, candied lemon and vanilla, developing tropical nuances. The palate echoes the 2012 vintage’s hallmark vivacity, but is mellow, round and textured, as Winston ought to be. There is instant charm and drinkability to this well-built wine that finishes with a refreshing chalky-mineral bite. A fine Sir Winston vintage.”

Sir Winston Churchill was a close friend of the Pol Roger family, prompting the house to name their prestige cuvée after him. The great man himself, once commented: “My tastes are simple, I am easily satisfied with the best.”
Anne Krebiehl MW
“Creaminess on the nose is immediately evident, segueing into a lovely note of dry corn husk and salty shortbread with an echo of ripe Mirabelle. The palate continues with the same creaminess and a shortcrust vibe, smooth, billowing, almost mellow – but then there is the lovely and bright freshness that is sunny but brisk. It is the saltiness and a hint of oystershell that keeps pulling you back to this understated but really complex wine. Lovely now, certain to evolve.”
See All Reviews
News Articles
  1. New Release: Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2012

    New Release: Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2012

    March 8, 2021

    Pol Roger only release Sir Winston Churchill in the very best years, the last being 2009 and today they launch Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2012. This latest vintage marking the 19th release since 1975 the first vintage.
  2. 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..
  3. 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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