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Pol Roger Vintage Brut Chardonnay 1996

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
  • W&S95
  • WS90
0% ABV
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 1995 vintage is already showing evidence of a serene, sophisticated wine, combining elegance, freshness and vitality. Dense, radiant and crystalline, its straw-yellow color is rimmed with intermittent reflections of green and a swarm of tiny, vivacious bubbles.

Its delicate, youthful, pleasant nose is subtly organized around an abundance of superb fragrances which are floral (honeysuckle, hawthorn, acacia), fruity (grapefruit, fresh pineapple), lactic (fresh butter) and empyreumatic (sponge cake, vanilla biscuits, lightly toasted flaked almonds) skillfully brought together into a perfectly coherent olfactory whole with a very promising future.

Its full, fresh and lively palate, an exact reproduction, although perhaps more mature and developed, of the fragrances experienced on the nose, is lovingly teased by a silky effervescence enriched by some soft, very sensual spicy flavors (cinnamon and vanilla). Its pleasing, persistent finish with a hint of lemon is designed to tantalize the taste buds of fine Chardonnay-lovers.

Owing to the characteristics it has inherited from the year of its vintage, Pol Roger's Brut Chardonnay 1995 is not suited to laying down for any significant length of time. It will be at its most charming and alluring while still in its youth (up to 2006).

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 95
Wine & Spirits
WS 90
Wine Spectator
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Pol Roger

Pol Roger

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Pol Roger, Champagne, France
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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!".

Champagne

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Associated with luxury, celebration, and romance, the region, Champagne, is home to the world’s most prized sparkling wine. In order to bear the label, ‘Champagne’, a sparkling wine must originate from this northeastern region of France—called Champagne—and adhere to strict quality standards. Made up of the three towns Reims, Épernay, and Aÿ, it was here that the traditional method of sparkling wine production was both invented and perfected, birthing a winemaking technique as well as a flavor profile that is now emulated worldwide.

Well-drained, limestone and chalky soil defines much of the region, which lend a mineral component to its wines. Champagne’s cold, continental climate promotes ample acidity in its grapes but weather differences from year to year can create significant variation between vintages. While vintage Champagnes are produced in exceptional years, non-vintage cuvées are produced annually from a blend of several years in order to produce Champagnes that maintain a consistent house style.

With nearly negligible exceptions, three varieties are permitted for use in Champagne: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. These can be blended together or bottled as individual varietal Champagnes, depending on the final style of wine desired. Chardonnay, the only white variety, contributes freshness, elegance, lively acidity and notes of citrus, orchard fruit and white flowers. Pinot Noir and its relative Pinot Meunier, provide the backbone to many blends, adding structure, body and supple red fruit flavors. Wines with a large proportion of Pinot Meunier will be ready to drink earlier, while Pinot Noir contributes to longevity. Whether it is white or rosé, most Champagne is made from a blend of red and white grapes—and uniquely, rosé is often produce by blending together red and white wine. A Champagne made exclusively from Chardonnay will be labeled as ‘blanc de blancs,’ while ones comprised of only red grapes are called ‘blanc de noirs.’

Representing the topmost expression of a Champagne house, a vintage Champagne is one made from the produce of a single, superior harvest year. Vintage Champagnes account for a mere 5% of total Champagne production and are produced about three times in a decade. Champagne is typically made as a blend of multiple years in order to preserve the house style; these will have non-vintage, or simply, NV on the label. The term, "vintage," as it applies to all wine, simply means a single harvest year.

WLD966066_1996 Item# 50040