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Flat front label of wine

Pol Roger Vintage Brut Chardonnay 1996

Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
  • W&S95
  • WS90
0% ABV
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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, Champagne is home to the world’s most prized sparkling wine. In order to be labeled ‘Champagne’ within the EU and many New World countries, a wine must originate in this northeastern region of France 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 chalk soil defines much of the region, lending a mineral component to the wines. The climate here is marginal—ample acidity is a requirement for sparkling wine, so overripe grapes are to be avoided. Weather differences from year to year create significant variation between vintages, and in order to maintain a consistent house style, non-vintage cuvées are produced annually from a blend of several years.

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 varietally, depending on the final style of wine desired. Chardonnay, the only white variety, contributes freshness, delicacy, and elegance, as well as bright and 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 one comprised of only red grapes are called ‘blanc de noirs.’

Champagne & Sparkling

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Equal parts festive and food-friendly, sparkling wine is beloved for its lively bubbles and appealing aesthetics. Though it is often thought of as something to be reserved for celebrations, sparkling wine can be enjoyed on any occasion—and might just make the regular ones feel a bit more special. Sparkling wine is made throughout the world, but can only be called “Champagne” if it comes from the Champagne region of France. Other regions have their own specialties, like Prosecco in Italy and Cava in Spain. Sweet or dry, white or rosé (or even red!), lightly fizzy or fully sparkling, there is a style of bubbly wine to suit every palate.

The bubbles in sparkling wine are formed when the base wine undergoes a secondary fermentation, trapping carbon dioxide inside the bottle or fermentation vessel. Champagne, Cava and many other sparkling wines (particularly in the New World) are made using the “traditional method,” in which the second fermentation takes place inside the bottle. With this method, dead yeast cells remain in contact with the wine during bottle aging, giving it a creamy mouthful and toasty flavors. For Prosecco, the carbonation process occurs in a stainless steel tank to preserve the fresh fruity and floral aromas preferred for this style of wine.

WLD966066_1996 Item# 50040