Wine Tasting: Pol Roger Champagne (4th Sep 1997)

Presented by Hubert de Billy of Pol Roger. An excellent and entertaining tasting - unusual for me in that I could sit back instead of talking!

1. 1988 Pol Roger vintage

4th Sep 1997 GBP25 Champagne Sparkling White

Pale & bright with a fine, persistent mousse.
Nutty and buttery on the nose.
Mouth-filling flavours of baked apples and nuts with just a hint of gumboils. Soft, rich acidity gives excellent balance. Long finish with flavours of tart green apples.
Excellent now but will continue to develop over the next few years.

2. 1989 Pol Roger vintage

4th Sep 1997 GBP30 Champagne Sparkling White

Pale, bright with a persistent mousse.
Full, bready, warm yeast nose.
Lighter and crisper than the 1988 with fresh, apple fruit.
Much lighter wine, ideal for drinking in the near future.

3. 1990 Pol Roger vintage

4th Sep 1997 Champagne Sparkling White

Preview Tasting - this hasn't even been shown to the press yet!
Pale gold with a much coarser mousse than the previous wines.
Restrained and delicate nose.
Quite sweet, fresh fruit. Fuller and fatter than the 1989 but not quite as weighty as the 1988. Very fresh with a long acidic finish.
A very young wine that has yet to find its balance - with bottle age the sweetness will recede and the flavours will broaden to match those of the fabulous 1988.

4. 1988 Pol Roger Blanc de Chardonnay

4th Sep 1997 GBP39 Champagne Sparkling White

First released in 1950.
Much paler, bright wine fading to clearness at the rim. Very slow, quite large bubbles.
Quite delicate on the nose with hints of apples.
Full flavoured but elegant with rich, toasted flavours after 8 years in the bottle. Good, fresh but soft acids. Excellent as an aperitif or with plain white fish.

5. 1988 Pol Roger Rose

4th Sep 1997 GBP36 Champagne Sparkling Rose

Another fairly recent innovation.
The wine is made from a blend of red and white wines as the family believes this is more consistent than a maceration technique.
Pale, even salmon pink.
Delicate toasty nose with some perfumed berry fruit.
Very powerful, full bodied and mouth-filling. Oily, rich fruit with volatile, burnt rubber undertones, prickly lactic acidity and a long, dry, clean finish.
This is very much a food wine - matched with pork or game it would really show its paces.

6. 1986 Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill

4th Sep 1997 GBP65 Champagne Sparkling White

First made in 1975, released 1984.
Pale, even, bright gold with a very fine mousse.
Fat, toasty nose of baked apples, ripe and complex.
Full bodied with rounded, sweet, ripe fruit, creamy acidity and a long finish.
Complex with superb balance - starting to show very well but will continue to develop, this will probably be my Millennium wine!