2009 Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill Champagne
Pol Roger’s flagship Champagne named in honour of WWII British prime minister Sir Winston Churchill for whom the house was a favourite. The 2009 pours with a frothy white mousse that slowly morphs into a straw pale coloured base that’s threaded by a very persistent stream of fine bubbles. Heady aromas of baked bread, yeast lees, citrus, roasted almond, light pear and brioche sail though the nostrils. Rich, full and concentrated the palate also exhibits great finesse and complexity with a flavour profile of yeast lees, bready characters, cashew, citrus and subtle oily toast like nuances. Airy in its feel with a gentle creaminess, it finishes dry with stimulating acidity. Some roasted nut characters shining through on the long, powerful yet graceful aftertaste.
Drink over the next 8-10 years.
One of the casualties of COVID-19 was a planned vertical tasting of Pol Roger's Cuvée Winston Churchill, which would have provided some additional context for the latest iteration of this textural, gastronomic, Pinot Noir-dominant bottling. Since that project is deferred to later this year, I've opted to publish my review of the newly released 2009 in the meantime. While the 2009 is structurally more open than the concentrated, tightly wound 2008, it's also still quite youthfully primary, and I would encourage readers to resist its deceptive accessibility right now and wait at least a few years for more complexity and aromatic range to emerge. That said, I can't claim that it was a hardship, even at this early stage, to work through several bottles of the 2009 for this report.
Pol Roger's 2009 Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill has turned out very well, offering up a demonstrative bouquet of golden apples, clear honey, hazelnuts and fresh pastry that's still quite primary. Full-bodied, fleshy and textural, it's deep and concentrated, with an ample core of fruit, ripe but racy acids, a pinpoint mousse and a long, penetrating finish. This is an expressive, deceptively immediate rendition of this bottling, yet despite its charm out of the gates, readers willing to wait at least five years will be rewarded with significant additional complexity. Drink 2023-2050.
William Kelley – Robert Parker’s the Wine Advocate
As always, this Pinot Noir-dominated Champagne is a great wine. In this vintage, it is fuller than usual, perhaps less structured—a true reflection of the vintage. Like all releases of this cuvée, the wine will age magnificently. Drink now or hold for at least 10 years to get full maturity.