Curious about the enchanting world of Pol Roger and its best Champagnes?
The Champagne’s signature house style, impeccable winemaking tradition, and rich history make it an all-time favorite among wine enthusiasts. This delicate drink has also been served for decades to the British Royal family.
Fun fact: The British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, fell in love with the Pol Roger Champagne and is said to have consumed 42,000 bottles in his lifetime!
So, what brought Pol Roger to these iconic heights? How is this luxurious Champagne made, and is it a good investment?
This Article Contains:
(Click on the links below to go to a specific section)
- The Pol Roger Champagne House
- A Quick History of Pol Roger
- Vineyards and Winemaking at Pol Roger
- Pol Roger Champagne Styles
- 10 Exceptional Pol Roger Bottles to Buy in 2021
- Pol Roger Vintage Brut 1921
- Pol Roger Vintage Brut 1947
- Pol Roger Vintage Brut 1975
- Pol Roger P.R. Reserve Speciale 1988
- Pol Roger P.R. Reserve Speciale 1990
- Pol Roger Extra Dry 1985
- Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill Brut 1975
- Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill Brut 1985
- Pol Roger Blanc de Blancs Brut Vintage 1973
- Pol Roger Brut Rose 1966
The Pol Roger Champagne House
With over 160 years of history, Pol Roger (pronounced Pol Roh-zhay) is one of the few family-owned Grande Marque Champagne houses, and it’s been managed by the Pol Roger family for five generations.
The relatively small estate is located in Epernay in the Champagne region of France. The annual production is 1.8 million bottles (which comprises only 1% of the total sparkling wine production in the Champagne region.)
The biggest Pol Roger consumer is not its home country France, but the UK. The Champagne house also holds a Royal Warrant and regularly supplies the British Royal family with bubbly for their special occasions.
Next, let’s explore the history behind the Pol Roger Champagne house!
A Quick History of Pol Roger
In 1849 Pol Roger founded the Roger Champagne house in Aÿ and started selling his first Champagne bottles. Initially, he did not own any vineyards and produced Champagne for other houses.
Two years later, he moved to Epernay and, in 1855, acquired his first vineyard holdings. He started producing Brut Champagne (the preferred style among British consumers), and it quickly became popular in the UK.
After he died in 1899, his two sons Maurice and Georges, took over the family business and changed the estate’s name to Pol Roger in honor of their father.
In 1908, Sir Winston Churchill tried the signature Champagne for the first time. Pol Roger became the Prime Minister’s favorite Champagne in the 1940s when he attended an event at the British Embassy in Paris. He then befriended Odette Pol-Roger (who married into the Pol-Roger family.) Since then, Odette supplied him with Pol Roger cases until his death in 1965.
After Churchill’s death, Pol Roger added a black border on all their Brut NV bottles shipped to the UK.
In 1975, Pol Roger started producing their Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill as a tribute to the British Prime Minister.
Today, the 5th generation of the Pol-Roger family continues the legacy while preserving the winemaking traditions that emerged in the mid-19th century.
So, what is so special about Pol Roger’s Champagne winemaking?
Vineyards and Winemaking at Pol Roger
The Pol Roger Champagne house owns 92 hectares of vineyard lands in Côte des Blancs and Vallée d’Épernay.
These sites provide close to 55% of the fruit used to make the Pol Roger Champagne. The rest is sourced from other Premier and Grand Cru grape growers.
The winemaking process is a mix of traditional vinification principles and modern technology, ensuring the best quality for every single Champagne bottle.
Apart from the typical Champagne making steps, the process includes:
- Manual remuage (turning bottles to remove the sediment to the bottleneck): Pol Roger has one of the region’s biggest remuage teams. Each remueur turns approximately 40,000 bottles a day.
- Final blending: The cuvees from the different villages, vineyards, and grape varieties ferment separately. Before they’re bottled for long-term aging, they’re carefully blended.
- Cellar: After the final blend, the wine bottles are stored in Pol Roger’s cellar. The cellar spreads for 7 km across two levels and reaches 30 meters depth and maintains a temperature of 9-9.5°C.
The aging time is much longer than usual - about three years for non-vintage Champagne and up to seven years for premium Champagne.
Pol Roger Champagne Styles
Pol Roger produces seven different Champagne styles.
These include three non-vintage Champagnes:
1. Brut Reserve (also known as White Foil): Pol Roger’s flagship Brut Champagne is made from at least two vintages. It consists of equal parts of Pinot Noir (from the Montagne de Reims vineyard), Chardonnay (from the vineyards in Epernay and Cotes de Blanc), and Pinot Meunier (from the estate-owned Vallée de la Marne.)
2. Demi-sec: Contains equal parts of the signature Champagne grape varieties and is a bit sweeter than the other styles.
3. Brut nature: Contains equal parts of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier. The cuvee has no added sugars and only about 2.5 grams of residual sugar per liter (a byproduct of the primary fermentation process.)
There are also four vintage styles:
4. Brut vintage: This vintage cuvee Champagne is made with 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay grapes.
5. Rosé: This pink Champagne is made with 50% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay, and the remaining is Vin Rouge which gives the sparkling wine its natural blush color.
6. Blanc de Blancs: This Champagne is made exclusively with the Chardonnay grape varietal.
7. Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill: Pol Roger does not officially reveal the varietals used in this cuvee, but it’s believed that it contains around 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay.
This Champagne is produced exclusively (only in the best vintages) from the finest Grand Cru vineyards and is offered in magnum bottles. It is usually released around 10 years after the vintage.
So, which Pol Roger Champagnes are worth adding to your wine collection?
10 Exceptional Pol Roger Bottles to Buy in 2021
We’ve hand-picked the best Pol Roger Champagnes for you:
1. Pol Roger Vintage Brut 1921
The 1921 vintage Champagne has hints of creamy mousse, a well-preserved acidity, and a chalky minerality. On the palate, it has a distinct brioche and mushroom flavor, followed by a delicately toasty aroma.
Price of Pol Roger Vintage Brut 1921: $3,926
2. Pol Roger Vintage Brut 1947
This Pol Roger stands out with its enigmatic finesse and bright acids. It has distinct apple and apricot jam aromas, accompanied by candied ginger tasting notes.
Price of Pol Roger Vintage Brut 1947: $2,316
3. Pol Roger Vintage Brut 1975
An exquisite brut vintage that has bright acids and baked bread aromas. This full-bodied Pol Roger offers a zesty mousse with candied orange peel flavor and delightful cooked pip fruits notes.
Price of Pol Roger Vintage Brut 1975: $539
4. Pol Roger P.R. Reserve Speciale 1988
This Pol Roger Brut Reserve Champagne has vibrant acidity and a seductive candied ginger aroma. The Cuvee Brut Reserve has dominant toast and poached pear flavors complemented by subtle spicy notes and a long-lasting mineral finish.
Price of Pol Roger P.R. Reserve Speciale 1988: $556
5. Pol Roger P.R. Reserve Speciale 1990
Here’s a Pol Roger Brut Reserve Champagne with a delicately toasty aroma and bright acidity. This Pol Roger Reserve wine has pleasant freshness and a delightful quince jelly flavor, followed by yeast and citrus aromas.
Price of Pol Roger P.R. Reserve Speciale 1990: $238
6. Pol Roger Extra Dry 1985
This graceful Champagne seduces with silky mousse, citrusy acidity, and cooked fruit flavors. On the palate, it has beautiful lemon fruit notes with elegant cooked pip fruits and an apricot jam aftertaste.
Price of Pol Roger Extra Dry 1985: $359
7. Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill Brut 1975
This is the legendary Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill Cuvee that comes in a warm yellow color and well-preserved freshness. This Champagne has cooked fruit and roasted nuts flavors accompanied by crisp acidity and a poached pear aftertaste.
Price of Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill Brut 1975: $2,106
8. Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill Brut 1985
This great Cuvee Champagne has an extraordinary apple pie palate with stone fruits and lemon hints. The bright freshness, zesty mousse, and citrusy acidity are followed by a gentle and long-lasting finish.
Price of Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill Brut 1985: $961
9. Pol Roger Blanc de Blancs Brut Vintage 1973
Here we have an elegant Champagne made with 100% Chardonnay grapes. This sparkling wine has developed exquisite candied orange peel and mushroom tasting notes. It is accompanied by peach and apple fruit aromas and a hint of brioche.
Price of Pol Roger Blanc de Blancs Brut Vintage 1973: $451
10. Pol Roger Brut Rose 1966
This is a special Pol Roger for Rose wine lovers. It has juicy strawberry and ripe raspberry flavors followed by citrusy aroma and beautiful spicy notes.
Price of Pol Roger Brut Rose 1966: $482
So, is Pol Roger a good investment wine?
Investing in Pol Roger
Pol Roger Champagnes have built an impressive reputation as the Royal drink and have a good aging potential of at least a decade (and beyond 20 years for its premium vintages.)
From a long-term investment perspective, the Cuvee Winston Churchill is the wine you should look for. The value of this wine increases substantially within a few years of release. So it's a good idea to buy it while it's young and accessible.
Here are some examples of its price appreciation:
- The Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill Brut 1975 jumped from $1,615 in 2019 to $2,110 in 2021 - a 30% increase.
- The graceful Champagne Winston Churchill Brut 1985 gew 50% from $639 in 2019 to $963 in 2021.
The Winston Churchill Champagne edition has also been the star of many auctions.
- In March 2019, a bottle of Pol Roger Cuvée Winston Churchill 1990 was sold for $464 at an auction in Hong Kong.
- In a 2020 London auction, a lot that included a magnum Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2002 and eight other premium French wines sold for $32,229.
Considering the limited production of the investment-grade Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill Champagne, it might be quite hard to get a bottle for yourself.
Luckily, there’s a much easier way to invest in fine and rare bottles from all over the world!
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Your wines are stored in bonded warehouses close to the best wine regions all over the world. One of the facilities is the same as the one used by the British Royal family.
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Add a Regal Pol Roger to Your Wine Collection
The Pol Roger Champagne house has been crafting luxurious, elegant Champagne bottles for over a century.
It is the perfect drink for celebrating special occasions and simply to add to your wine collection.
And, if you want a rarer investment-grade wine like the Cuvee Winston Churchill, it’s best to get assistance from a wine investment company like Vinovest.
So, sign up and explore the exciting world of wine today!