x
  • Country ranking ?

    546
  • Producer ranking ?

    3
  • Decanting time

    No
  • When to drink

    Now
  • Food Pairing

    Seafood, Salads & Consommes

The Story

The relationship between Champagne Pol Roger and Sir Winston Churchill dates back to a providential meeting at a luncheon given by the British Ambassador to France some months after the liberation of Paris at which was served the sumptuous 1928 vintage of Pol Roger. Attending the lunch was the beautiful Odette Pol-Roger as well as the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, with whom she struck up an instant rapport. A friendship was born which continued until Churchill’s death, creating links between the Pol-Roger and Churchill families which are still as strong to this day.

The pressures of his post sadly prevented Churchill ever paying a visit to 44 Avenue de Champagne, the home of Champagne Pol Roger, but he nonetheless proclaimed it “the most drinkable address in the world”. As recompense for breaking his promise to visit he sent Odette a copy of his Memoirs inscribed “Cuvée de Réserve, mise en bouteille au Château de Chartwell”. He even named one of his racehorses “Pol Roger” and the lly strode to victory at Kempton Park in 1953, Coronation Year.

 

THE “CUVÉE SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL” 
Champagne Pol Roger created their Prestige Cuvée in homage to Sir Winston Churchill mindful of the qualities that he sought in his champagne: robustness, a full-bodied character and relative maturity. The exact blend is a closely guarded family secret but it is undeniable that the composition would meet with the approval of the man to whom it is dedicated: “My tastes are simple, I am easily satisfied with the best”. Pinot Noir predominates, providing structure, breadth and robustness whilst Chardonnay contributes elegance, nesse and subtlety. Composed exclusively of grapes sourced from Grand Cru Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards which were already under vine during Churchill’s lifetime, “Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill” is only made in the very best vintages and is always released later than the other vintage dated Champagnes from Pol Roger, marking Churchill’s appreciation for older wines.

 

The first “Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill” was from the 1975 vintage and was released, in magnum only, in 1984, with the launch taking place at Blenheim Palace. There followed 1979, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002 and now 2004. The latest vintage, 2004, is the fifteenth and is released only after 11 years cellaring. Produced in very small quantities, it is available in 75cl bottle and 1.5L magnum.

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Vintage 1975

Churchill and Champagne

Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born in 1874, in the same year as Pol Roger’s first vintage champagne. This wine was to make Pol Roger famous on the English market. Equally, Winston Churchill was to grow into a statesman of the highest rank. In addition to having been selected as the most significant person in British history, he was also awarded the Nobel Prize in literature. This multi-talented man was a skilled polo player, oil painter and carpenter. His interest in wine, cigars and gastronomy is well-known.

Champagne was by far Churchill’s favourite drink. Even during the war years he never travelled without at least one case of Pol Roger champagne, the vintage 1828 being his preference. Churchill’s alcohol consumption was vast, but he never appeared drunken thanks to his well-trained tolerance for alcohol. Legend says that there was always a measure of alcohol in Churchill’s blood. Labour Party Member of Parliament Bessie Braddock once told Churchill off for being drunk, to which the wordy man replied: “Bessie, you are ugly. But in the morning I will be sober”.

Churchill was a disciplined and determined man who started his morning by working in his bed. He read the daily newspapers and communications and dictated assignments. He even received visitors sitting by his bed side with Nelson, his cat, keeping him company at the foot of the bed. It was quite often during the tough years of war that he started drinking wine already in the morning. He, if anyone, had the weight of a nation on his shoulders. If possible Churchill stayed in bed all morning. He would gather together friends, relatives, politicians and army leaders for lunch. War strategy was discussed over lunch with the help of champagne and brandy. In the afternoon Winston Churchill needed a rest to refresh him for the evening’s meetings. Churchill entertained his dinner guests night after night with unlimited champagne, cognac and cigars. He commonly got to bed only at around three or four in the morning. Churchill’s lavish alcohol consumption was criticized from time to time. He defended himself by saying: ”I can only say having gotten more out of alcohol than it has gotten out of me”.

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Latest Pro-tasting notes

14 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Deep, Green-Yellow and Bright

ending

Long, Lingering and Gentle

flavors

Citrus, White fruits, Toasty, Honey, Mineral and Creamy

nose

Youthful, Seductive, Pure and Complex

taste

Perfectly balanced, Balanced, Concentrated, Mature, Medium-bodied, Elegant, Fresh, Harmonious and Medium-Dry

Verdict

Intelligent and Sophisticated

Written Notes

A magnum of the very first vintage of Churchill was next, the 1975 Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill. I had had this once before, also courtesy of Big Boy, at 2006’s holiday BYO party. Unfortunately, I lost my notes and the fifty wines I sampled on that legendary night, never to be shared again. Big Boy immediately crowned the Churchill as ‘6 star Champagne,’ and went on to add ‘the best of 1975.’ It was clean and racy with touches of vanilla, wheat and smoke. Incredibly long in the mouth, there were lots of limestone and slate flavors along with a touch of benevolent cat’s box. ‘Deleriumly focused,’ I wrote. It is not proper English, I know, but still appropriate; one of the joys of wine language is the ability to make your own words up! It was so focused that it made me deliriously joyful, for those of you that need translation. Linearly long, I added. There were also flavors of anise and lime on the rocks in this increasingly gamy and edgy Champagne, and even a hint of banana.
  • 96p
Good looking magnum size bottle, in an good condition and level is 4cm ullage below the cork. Colour is straw, and looking clear, bright and deep. On the nose it is open, wide, youthful, seductive, ripe, rich and charming. The taste is fresh, rich, elegant, perfumed, and medium-dry, medium-bodied, with balanced, complex, concentrated structure and mature. On the palate it is layered and has tropical fruits, citrus, creamy, dried-fruit, honey, white fruits, steely, nutty and buttery flavours. The finish is long, gentle, extensive and lingering. This wine is intelligent, excellent and fine. I paid around 1k-3k€ a bottle. Perfectly stored bottles are still very worthy and will last well for another 10-15 years and decant at least 15min before tasting. Good value for money.
  • 96p

Magnum. Pale lemon yellow! Apples, pears, touch of pears, elegant brioche, white tuffles nose. Fresh acidity, elegant and smooth mousse, refreshing and detailed, superb balance, long. Delicious. 95

  • 95p

Information

Origin

Epernay, Champagne

Other wines from this producer

Blanc de Blancs

Blanc de Blancs Vinothèque

Brut Réserve

Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill Vinothèque

Pol Roger Vinothèque

Pol Roger vintage

Pol Roger vintage rosé

Pure

Reserve de Wermacht

Rich

Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

95p
 Christer Byklum / Leading Scandinavian wine blogger, Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  Sir Winston Churchill 1975  ( Pol Roger )

Magnum. Pale lemon yellow! Apples, pears, touch of pears, elegant brioche, white tuffles nose. Fresh acidity, elegant and smooth mousse, refreshing and detailed, superb balance, long. Delicious. 95

3d 10h ago

97p
 Sebastien Abric / Acker Merrall & Condit, Pro (France)  tasted  Sir Winston Churchill 1975  ( Pol Roger )

Slight golden color, beautiful, fresh, crispy, great balance, very long. Superb

9m 11d ago

98p
 Markus Del Monego MW / Best Sommelier in the World 1998, MW (Germany)  tasted  Sir Winston Churchill 1975  ( Pol Roger )

Intense golden yellow colour with lively character. Very fine Brioche nose, hints of roasting aroma, ripe pear and hints of yellow stone fruit, elegant minerality, roasted hazelnuts and an expressive aroma reminiscent of white truffles. On the palate very fine mousseux, excellent complexity and length.

10m 24d ago

96p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Sir Winston Churchill 1975  ( Pol Roger )

"A magnum of the very first vintage of Churchill was next, the 1975 Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill. I had had this once before, also courtesy of Big Boy, at 2006’s holiday BYO party. Unfortunately, I lost my notes and the fifty wines I sampled on that legendary night, never to be shared again. Big Boy immediately crowned the Churchill as ‘6 star Champagne,’ and went on to add ‘the best of 1975.’ It was clean and racy with touches of vanilla, wheat and smoke. Incredibly long in the mouth, there were lots of limestone and slate flavors along with a touch of benevolent cat’s box. ‘Deleriumly focused,’ I wrote. It is not proper English, I know, but still appropriate; one of the joys of wine language is the ability to make your own words up! It was so focused that it made me deliriously joyful, for those of you that need translation. Linearly long, I added. There were also flavors of anise and lime on the rocks in this increasingly gamy and edgy Champagne, and even a hint of banana."

1y 10m ago

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