Justerini & Brooks has long been a great supporter of Pol Roger. Right back to the late 19th century records show that we bought a handsome parcel of 300,000 bottles of the 1914, a great vintage that put Pol Roger on the map. The most fascinating episode in their history, though, was in 1914 when Epernay was invaded on the 4th September. The occupation did not last long, however, as the allies pushed back, allowing Maurice Pol Roger just enough time to coordinate the harvest, on the 21st September. It was a challenge gathering a picking team but he succeeded and as a result Pol Roger was one of the very few Champagnes made that year.
There can be no more fitting celebration of this proud history than the launch of a truly great vintage of the House’s top Cuvee, Sir Winston Churchill. The 2002 Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill, a Pinot Noir-dominated blend with Chardonnay made exclusively from Grand Cru vineyards, is a strikingly intense, beautifully-balanced, creamy and vinous Champagne. The vintage was sunny and fair yielding grapes that were ripe and had fresh, if not piercing, acidities. The ensuing “wine” we should call it, for this really is a Burgundy with bubbles, is a tour de force.
Our tasting notes:
The blend is Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, dominated by the former. Citrusy with light brioche notes, creamy yet refreshing flavours of red berry, citrus and fresh lime with touches of sultana and acacia. Intense mouth-filling with great length of flavour and an extremely fine mousse. Excellent.
Sir Winston Churchill’s love of Pol Roger Champagne was born from an ambassadorial lunch after the liberation of Paris where he met beautiful Odette Pol-Roger over a glass of her 1928. He soon became a die- hard fan proclaiming the house “ Champagne’s most drinkable address” and he even named one of his racehorses “Pol Roger”, which galloped to victory at Kempton Park in 1953. Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill was posthumously created in homage to the former Prime Minister, the first vintage being 1975. Grapes come exclusively from Grand Cru Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards and is only made in the best vintages and is always released later than the majority of other vintage Champagne, marking Churchill’s appreciation for older wines.