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Pol Roger recently celebrated its 150th anniversary and is perhaps best known as Winston Churchill's favourite Champagne. Established in 1849, Champagne Pol Roger remains family-owned and proudly independent to this day. Pol Roger, the 1831 born founder of the house, had lived in the Grand Cru village of Aÿ his whole childhood. The whole family supported the enterprise of their son. From early on Pol Roger focused in exports, and the English market was the most important one from the beginning. The commercial success of the company had its roots in the business model where they produced other champagne brands in the Pol Roger facilities. Pol Roger is one of the few remaining family owned Grande Marque champagne businesses.
The must undergoes two débourbages (settlings), one at the press house immediatly after pressing and the second, a débourbage à froid, in stainless steel tanks at 6°C over a 24 hour period. A slow cool fermentation with the temperature kept under 18°C takes place in stainless steel with each variety and each village kept seperate. The wine undergoes a full malolactic-fermentation prior to final blending. Secondary fermentation takes place in bottle at 9°C in the deepest Pol Roger cellars (33 metres below street level) where the wine is kept until it undergoes remuage (riddling) by hand, a rarity in Champagne nowadays. The very fine and persistent mousse for which Pol Roger is renowned owes much to these deep, cool and damp cellars.
This year trialled the growers with many climatic hazards from excessive rainfalls to frosts, downy mildew, hail, draught and, finally, sunburn. A cool spring saw late-April frost, which cut volumes early on. Mildew was an issue throughout the region (especially in the Côte des Bar), equally diminishing volumes. July and August were then hot and very dry months and the resultant sunburn reduced the yields further. Ripening was uneven, and Chardonnay especially needed time and was thus considered the most difficult variety for the vintage. Overall volumes were down to 9,163 kg/ha, offering balanced wines with an average potential alcohol of 9.9% and total acidity of 7.4g/l. Fruit-forward, lush wines with vibrant acidity.