2015 Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill
The notion that Champagne can be a fine wine and drunk as such is often forgotten amid the sound of popping corks. Although it is, quite rightly, associated with celebration, fine Champagne should also be enjoyed with food and treated as you would, say, a fine White Burgundy, and that is especially true of Pol Roger’s top wine, Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill. Champagne Pol Roger created their Prestige Cuvée in homage to Sir Winston Churchill, mindful of the qualities that he sought in his champagne: robustness, a full-bodied character and relative maturity, and it is undeniable that the composition would meet with the approval of the man to whom it is dedicated: “My tastes are simple, I am easily satisfied with the best”. Pinot Noir predominates, providing structure, breadth and robustness whilst Chardonnay contributes elegance, finesse and subtlety. Composed exclusively of grapes sourced from Grand Cru Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards, which were already under vine during Churchill’s lifetime, Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill is only made in the very best vintages and is always released later than Pol Roger’s other vintage Champagnes, marking Churchill’s appreciation for older wines.
Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill 2015 – £995 per 6 x 75cl IB
This has always been one of my favourite champagnes; it has great depth of flavour and weight yet it is also layered, complex and elegant – the definition of a truly fine and great wine. For what it is, the price remains quite reasonable. 2015 is an exquisite vintage for the Sir Winston Churchill cuvée. The year`s dry, sunny summer was fortuitously followed by a burst of refreshing rain in the run-up to harvest, allowing the grapes to achieve impeccable ripeness. Pinot Noir (which always dominates here – the exact blend being a closely guarded family secret) was particularly successful in 2015, contributing generous roundness and powerful structure to the wine.
The 2015 Brut Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill shows off the savory side of the vintage to great effect. Hints of dried pear, sage, mint, dried flowers, lemon oil and chamomile open gradually in this mid-weight, lithe edition of Pol Roger’s tête de cuvée. The 2015 unfolds nicely with time in the glass, but I wouldn’t think of opening a bottle anytime soon. Readers will find a nervy Winston Churchill marked by notable freshness and vigor more than size. This is a fine effort in a vintage that has proven to be far trickier than most observers originally envisioned. Dosage is 7 grams per liter. Disgorged September 2022. 95 Antonio Galloni 2027 – 2045 Not Available May 2022