Pol Roger Brut (375ML half-bottle)
Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
Pol Roger, one of a few luxury Champagne firms still family-owned, was established in Epernay in 1849. Pol Roger owns 200 acres of vineyards, which provide about 45% of their needs. Pol Roger's cellars extend over four miles of winding chalk passageways on two levels. The second or deeper cellar maintains a constant 9.5º C (50º F), one degree lower than the first level and most others in the region. This lower temperature slows the second fermentation, encouraging a finer mousse or bubbles. Pol Roger Champagne also spends two to three times the allowable minimum in the cellar before disgorgement, or about three years for the non-vintage and up to seven for the luxury cuvées. The long, slow maturation contributes greatly to the complex aromas, which distinguish these superb Champagnes.
The Brut Non Vintage blend is traditionally composed from about 30 to 35 still base wines, drawn from different vineyard sites, grape varieties and vintage years. It usually contains wines of at least two vintages, often three or four. Reserve wines compose between 20-30% of the traditional blend. The Brut NV is never sold until the youngest component is at least three years old, which gives it more character and body.
Pale gold with a very fine bead; flowery, delicately toasty aroma with fruit and complexity; creamy, beautifully balanced with a dry, harmonious finish.
Wine Spectator - "An elegant Champagne, with a smoky, minerally underpinning and subtle flavors of poached pear, toast, candied lemon zest and ginger riding the finely detailed bead. Harmonious, and hard to stop sipping. Drink now through 2020. 10,000 cases imported."
The Wine Advocate - "Straw yellow and with a golden hue in color, the Pol Roger NV Réserve Brut displays a brilliant, perfectly ripe but also fresh, highly elegant and refined fruit aroma on the nose; think of cooked pip fruits like pears and apples, but also quince-confiture and yellow stone fruits, such as apricots and peaches intermixed with vanilla, brioche (pain aux raisins), some nutty flavors and also some white floral notes. On the palate, this medium-bodied Brut is as round (if not pretty sweet) and fruit-driven as it is delicate, pure and very elegant. The mousse is deliciously fine and leads this charming and perfectly balanced fizz to a long, aromatic, stunningly dry and slightly mineral, impressively long finish. This is extremely well done Champagne from equal parts of Pinot Noir, Meunier and Chardonnay sourced in 30 different crus. This Réserve includes 25% of reserve wines and was dosed with nine grams per liter."
Wine & Spirits - "A great disgorgement of Pol Roger’s basic Brut, a blend that includes 25 percent reserve wines, this is a gracious, red-fruited Champagne. Though the wines go through malolactic, this emphasizes freshness, with a tingle of ginger and mineral acidity lifting the flavors in the finish."
James Suckling - "A complex, reliable Champagne that would show well in all occasions thanks to its freshness and class. Drawing on all three grapes (chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier), this has a complex grilled-nut and autolysis character overlayed across red berries and citrus fruits. Definitely a lot of reserve wine character here. The palate delivers lemons, grapefruit, peaches and mangoes in a refreshingly pure, fleshy style. The bright acidity, handy balance and tannins smoothly frame the finish."
Wine Enthusiast - "This is a well-balanced, ripe wine in the producer's rich house style. A brighter, more mineral crispness and acidity also come through strongly in this bottling. The aftertaste brings together a mineral texture and full yellow and apple fruits. "
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Pol Roger Winery
Pol Roger is one of the few remaining family-owned grande marque Champagne houses. Their grande marque status was guaranteed at the turn of the century when about 20 producers banded together to establish exacting quality controls for Champagne. The annual production at Pol Roger - less than 120,000 cases - is found in the best restaurants of France, England, and the USA, and is exported to over 30 countries. Pol Roger also was the Champagne of choice of British dignitary Sir Winston Churchill, who once said of Champagne, "...In victory I deserve it, and in defeat I need it!". View all Pol Roger Wines
About ChampagneView a map of Champagne wineries Champagne is both a region and a method. The wines come from the northernmost vineyards in France and the name conjures an image like no other can. An 18th Century Benedictine monk named Dom Perignon is said to be the first to blend both varietals and vintages, making good wines not only great, but also special and unique to their winemaker. Today, nearly 75% of Champagne produced is non-vintage and made up by a blend of several years' harvests.
All Champagnes must be made by a strictly controlled process called "Méthode Champenoise." The grapes are pressed and fermented for the first time. The blending phase follows and the wine is bottled and temporarily capped. Then comes the second fermentation, a blend of sugar and yeast is added and, this time, the carbon dioxide is kept inside the bottle. This process leaves a great deal of sediment that is extracted through a process of "racking" or "riddling." The bottles are progressively turned upside down until all the sediment is collected in the neck. The necks are then frozen and the sediment is "disgorged." After this phase, the winemaker may decide to add sugar to sweeten the wine. Finally the wine is corked. Some wines move through this process in a couple of months, while others are aged after the riddling phase to build greater complexity and depth.
Champagnes range from dry, "Brut," to slightly sweet, "Demi-Sec." Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are used in Champagne blends, but "Blancs de Noirs" is made entirely of Pinot Noir and "Blancs de Blanc" is made from only Chardonnay grapes. The high acidity achieved by the northern location is crucial to the balance and structure of these wines.
Not every year is a "vintage" declared. In years when it is not, the wines are blended with the produce from other years to create the non-vintage blend, the house style that remains constant from year to year. But in a great vintage year, champagne houses will bottle by itself the unblended year's produce, and use other portions as "reserve" wines to supplement and enrich the non-vintage blend. A vintage champagne can age quite gracefully, and gain complexity just like any other great still wine.
Mild cheeses like gruyere and shellfish pair nicely with Champagne. Also, oysters and Champagne is a popular combination. A full-flavored vintage Champagne can go with almost any meal.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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