Every great Champagne house’s vintage Champagne has an additional uniqueness and individuality in comparison with their more regular non-vintage cuvée. And vintage years of true greatness and exceptional class are rare. 2008 in Champagne is one such year and boy, has the famous house of Pol Roger conjured up something truly special.
Last week we were lucky enough to be invited to the unforgettable launch party of the sensational 2008 release in the surrounds of Kensington Palace Gardens. This famous house is rightly proud of its Royal connections as holder of a coveted Royal Warrant. But the majestic location was as much about marking 100 years since their most famous customer, Winston Churchill, placed his first order for a case Pol Roger Champagne back in 1908. One of his most famous quotes, addressed to Odette Pol Roger, was that the family’s home in Epernay “was the most delightful address in the world.”
But importantly, we must focus on the wine itself. The outstanding quality of the fruit picked in 2008 took many producers by surprise. Whilst climatic conditions were good, they hadn’t been exceptional. However, what arrived in the winery was equal in every way in quality, (albeit different in style) to such famed Pol Roger vintages as 2002 and 1996. Indeed, Pol Roger’s President, Laurent d’Harcourt, describes the 2008 as having the weight and intensity of the highly praised 1998 vintage with the brightness and freshness of the deliciously racy and long lived 1996. High praise indeed. And as family member Hubert de Billy said to our Buying Director: “David, this is more than just a bottle with bubbles. It is a great wine itself such as one finds in the Côte de Beaune.”
Pol Roger Brut 2008
£348.00 per 3 magnums IB / £436.82 per 3 magnums inc VAT (very limited)
Brilliant light straw colour. Initially this has wonderfully vibrant and racy aromas of citrus and fresh spring flowers, evolving with hints of freshly buttered croissant. In the palate it is simply electrifying: there is a crescendo of flavours. The brioche and croissant notes on the nose carry on to a stunning brightness and vivacity in the palate, which has extraordinary intensity. The finish is one of lively, tingling freshness, with hints of citrus and lemon sherbet entwined with the yeasty autolytic characters that subtly underline this great wine. This has the potential to be t
alked about as one of the legendary vintages of Pol Roger. Quite simply a cracker; a truly great wine. Drink 2018 – 2040 David Roberts MW