Pol Roger Brut Rose 2002
Rosé Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
A delicate, soft pink with Pol Roger's hallmark fine mousse. The nose is fresh, lively and fruity. First impressions are of red fruits, strawberry and raspberry, with a fresh but lingering bouquet. This is followed by warmer notes of wheat and dried cereals. Powerful and vinous in the mouth, the wine develops a fleshy texture underpinned by a firm backbone promising a long life.
Food Pairings: Well matched by poached salmon or cold roast beef and, of course, fruit based desserts.
Wine & Spirits - "More vintages like 2002, please...especially if they give us wines like this rosé, a quiet, persistant, thrillingly precise pinot noir-with fruit that manages to be vivid and supple, a color that hints at fresh apricot and a scent that shifts from apricot to fresh red berries. The fruit presence submerges inot the delicate fortitude of the tannin, reemerging with bass notes of wildflowers and high notes of rose. This has plenty of power in reserve if you chose to age it, adn enought substance to pour with prawns in a mildy spicy Vietnamese green curry."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2002 Brut Rose Extra Cuvee de Reserve is a gorgeous wine, even if it is a bit buttoned up at this stage. Layers of well-delineated aromatics emerge over time, melding seamlessly into a chiseled, precise core of fruit. This shows quite a bit of depth and richness, all while maintaining superb freshness and clarity. Though delicious today, I imagine this will be a highly rewarding bottle to follow over the next decade or so. This is an absolutely exquisite Champagne from Pol Roger. The Rose Extra Cuvee de Reserve is 35% Chardonnay and 65% Pinot Noir, of which 15% is still Pinot, with full malolactic fermentation. Lot number illegible. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020.
Wine Spectator - "A floral rosé, with a smoky undercurrent to subtle flavors of ripe plum, blackberry and black cherry. Mouthwatering acidity and fine texture steer this to the focused finish. Drink now through 2022. 300 cases imported. "
International Wine Cellar - "Light, bright pink. Bright, expressive aromas of redcurrant, wild strawberry, white flowers and Asian spices, with a chalky undertone. Deeper cherry, licorice and subtle smoky qualities join the nervy red fruits on the velvety palate. Puts on weight with air, finishing with solid grip and lingering smoke and floral notes. This could still use some bottle age but there's enough complexity for guilt-free drinking now. "
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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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