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Prestige Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill is the flagship wine of Pol Roger Champagne. It is one of the highly regarded prestige Pinot Noir driven Champagnes.

Brief History

Winston Churchill met Madame Odette Pol-Roger in Paris over lunch at the British Embassy a few months after the liberation of Paris, Pol Roger 1928 (allegedly one of the best vintages of the century in Champagne) was shared and friendship was born. Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill was created in 1975 and first released in 1984 in honour of Sir Winston Churchill, who was a devotee of Pol Roger Champagnes. Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill are only released in great vintages, at the moment only the following vintages have been released. 1975, 1979, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, and recently 2006. Pol Roger doesn’t state their production level for the Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill, but some sources say below 4,000 cases.

Wine Style

Pol Roger Cuvée Winston Churchill is a full-bodied champagne with yeasty structure and rich oxidative flavours. Grapes are sourced from 100% Grand Cru vineyards, Pinot Noir dominated with some Chardonnay. The exact recipe is a family secret but the blend is roughly 70-80% Pinot Noir with the remaining Chardonnay. Dosage is generally around 8g/L.

Bottles of 1914 Pol Roger champagne stacked upside down in their cellar. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

Tasting Notes

Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 1985

Provenance is key, especially important for mature Champagnes. This bottle of Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 1985 is in an exceptional condition, fresh aromas and sharp acidity, fresher than some 2002 vintage Champagnes. This 1985 Sir Winston Churchill is a classic Pol Roger Cuvée from a great vintage. Powerful autolytic brioche note, potent, very full bodied with bruised Apple and smokey minerals. Sharp acidity and incredible punch. Gorgeous finish. Champagne 1985 appears to be superior to 1982 and 1988. (96/100)

Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 1995

Tasted blind – Very gentle effervescent and deep amber colour. The nose offers a complex flavour of ripe yellow fruits, red berries, honied apricot and caramelised popcorn. Close to fully mature if not already. Bold character of Pinot fruits with ample toasty flavours and ripe fruits. Champagne, 1988, Blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir but mostly Pinot Noir? Most 1995 Champagne lack acidity and are either close or fully mature. I would drink up most 1995 Champagnes sooner than later. (92-93/100)

Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 1996

Sir Winston Churchill 1996 has a substantial style of Pol Roger vintage, but only denser, more intense and longer living. It is a Herculean Champagne. Very fresh and full of vibrancy. Heavy of lees and brioche flavours, energetic. Like Pol Roger, it’s Pinot Noir driven, a bit of development, bruised apple, spiced almond biscuit. Generous flavours and structure. Weighty and tight on the palate with very sharp acidity. Piercing and complex rich aromas. A potent wine firing all cylinders! Impressive! (95/100)

Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2000

Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill is a more sophisticated and finely-complex version of Pol Roger vintage Champagne. Same with Pol Roger, this Cuvée is very Pinot Structured, smokey and weighty-creamy textured. Charming and more refined, concentration is a notch above Pol Roger vintage. Fairly energetic apricots and white blossom. Great balance and mineral/sea shell backbone, a bit tight and not powerful on the nose. A graceful Champagne. Went superbly with teppanyaki lobster and sashimi. (93/100)

Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2002

Don’t miss 2002 Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill if you’re a Pol Roger fan! It’s the successor to the brilliant 1996. Powerful and vinous, great acidity and racy feel that is reminiscent of the excellent 1996. High pitched ripe fruits and intense pastry and toast. Great transparency and generous flavours. Great power that improved after more time in the glass. Amazing how approachable they are when young but after trying 1996 I can bet Sir Winston Churchill 2002 can seriously age well! I would recommend decanting or opening it an hour before drinking it to let it breathe. (95/100)

Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2004

The 2004 Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill is nothing short of style. Almost 14 years of age and this it still youthful and firm. Toasty brioche, good density of citrus, bruised apples, biscuits and white fruits. Great body and ripe yellow fruits. Pinot driven red berry aromas with subtle almonds and dried fruits. Great energy and drive with a long finish. Drink now – 2034. (94/100)

Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill 2006

Tasted blind – An assertive array of red berry fruits and muscular leesy toast. Fresh cranberry, ripe lemons, brioche, and mature pears, a ripe vintage? Some oak influence? (Pol Roger doesn’t use oak actually). Full bodied and tense, expansive style with good phenolic ripeness. Pinot Noir dominant (c. 70%?) Dom Perignon 1996/ 2002? A tricky one to guess as 2006 is so approachable already. (94/100)

1995Winston Churchill along with 2006 Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Françaises and 2004 Salon.

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