When Pol Roger Brut Vintage 2008 was launched in February 2017, the house confidently declared it one of their “greatest ever years”. The critics quickly agreed, with many awarding it their highest ever score for a Pol Roger vintage, including an 18/20 from Jancis Robinson MW.
With these rave reviews in mind, expectations for the prestige cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2008 have been unsurprisingly sky-high. Last year, Director of Business Development Paul Graham told The Drinks Business: “Our Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2008 is the best vintage since 1988 and the most investible Churchill we’ve ever made.”
This evening, we finally got the chance to put that claim to the test, as Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2008 was officially launched at Bonhams Restaurant in London. Hosting the event were fifth generation family member Hubert de Billy and President of Pol Roger Laurent d’Harcourt.
As always, the blend is a family secret, but likely in the region of 70-80% PN and 20-30% CH. Following primary fermentation in stainless steel tanks, Sir Winston Churchill 2008 underwent full malolactic fermentation before spending around eight years maturing on the lees in the underground cellars. The complex, generous and intense characteristics of Sir Winston Churchill 2008 owe much to this extended lees maturation in Pol Roger’s famous deep, cool and damp cellars.
This is undeniably one of the most promising vintages of Sir Winston Churchill we have tasted on release. Although still very young, its potential is clear: given time Sir Winston Churchill 2008 could develop into one of the house’s greatest ever champagnes.
|Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2008 | 18.5/20
70-80% PN, 20-30% CH | Lees Ageing: 8 Years | Disgorged: 2017 | Dosage: 7 g/l | Post-Disgorgement Ageing: 1 Year
Strong rich golden colour with plenty of grapefruit and ripe lemons accompanied with a soft chalky character. On the palate, ripe red apples come through with lots of lees character, with rich creamy notes through the mid palate. Great texture, lively acidity but balanced with fruit. The finish lingers long.
Sir Winston Churchill was a close friend of the Pol Roger family, prompting the house to name their prestige cuvée after him. It’s likely even the great man himself, who once commented: “My tastes are simple, I am easily satisfied with the best”, would be blown away by Sir Winston Churchill 2008. This vintage is the 17th release of the prestige cuvée since the inaugural 1975 vintage, which was produced only in magnum. The previous vintages are:
|Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 1975||Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 1995|
|Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 1979||Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 1996|
|Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 1982||Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 1998|
|Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 1985||Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 1999|
|Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 1986||Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2000|
|Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 1988||Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2002|
|Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 1990||Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2004|
|Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 1993||Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2006|
Although the UK is the biggest market for Pol Roger’s prestige cuvée, Sir Winston Churchill 2008 is likely to be in very high demand and therefore available in limited quantities. Bottles and magnums of Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2008 will be available to purchase from Monday 8th October 2018 for delivery in mid-November 2018.