The Wine Advocate’s Neal Martin notes that on his visits to Bordeaux the proprietors of the châteaux typically serve Pol Roger: “Sure, if they are out to schmooze then Cristal is poured, but when they want to share a champagne that they like to drink themselves, then Pol Roger is the bubbly doing the rounds.” (To the House of Defiance: Pol Roger 1914 – 1998 by Neal Martin, October 2007, eRobertParker.com)

I’ve just finished reading Anne Sebba’s fascinating biography of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor. Sir Winston Churchill was one of the central figures in the dramatic events that led to the abdication of Edward VIII in 1936 so the King of England could marry the twice divorced Mrs Simpson.

Pol Roger was, of course, Churchill’s favourite Champagne, of which he famously quipped: “In victory, deserve it. In defeat, need it!” Churchill apparently made his first purchase of Pol Roger in 1908 and became a huge fan of the 1928 vintage, which he admired for its sweetness and richness. In the 1940s he developed a close friendship with Odette Pol-Roger, who was famously photographed by Cecil Beaton, the Duchess of Windsor’s favourite photographer.

By the time of his death in 1965, Churchill had procured over 500 cases of Pol Roger, and to mark his passing the Champagne House placed a black band on the white foil of bottles destined for the UK. In 1984 Pol Roger released the first Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill, based on the 1975 vintage and only soured from grand crus vineyards that were active during Churchill’s lifetime. Made in the richer style that Churchill preferred, the wine is now Pol Roger’s top cuvée, and is greatly admired for its complexity, elegance and finesse.

Located in the heart of Epernay, Pol Roger is the last of the grandes marques still owned by the founding family. Pol Roger’s Chief Executive Patrice Noyelle told Martin that once a year the whole family gets together to taste and blend all the components that will go to make the Brut Reserve,.. [Read More]