2006 Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill

Year: 2006
Appellation: Champagne
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 95
Wine Advocate: 95
James Suckling: 95
Burghound: 93--Wine Enthusiast: 98
Sparkling Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 12.5%
Price :
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"This dances gracefully on the palate, with rich and expressive flavors of peach tart, raspberry sorbet, candied ginger and orange peel, and sleek acidity that leaves a mouthwatering impression on the satiny finish. Drink now through 2031. 600 cases imported. -AN " (WS)

"Made in the very best vintages, Pol Roger's white-golden colored 2006 Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill offers a very clear, precise, ripe and complex bouquet with fruity and refreshingly chalky, nutty and brioche notes. Full-bodied and complex on the palate, the 2006 is supple, round and rich but also fine, elegant, fresh and well structured. It has a harmonious yet tight, persistent and very promising finish that puts this silky textured, Pinot-dominated cuvée (the exact blend is a closely guarded family secret) on the border of fatty richness. But the mousse gives so much freshness and finesse that everything seems lifted here. Though I have very limited experience with matured Champagnes from Pol Roger and namely Churchill, I suppose the 2006 will benefit a lot from further bottle aging. But don't get me wrong: the wine is already gorgeous. Tasted June 2018, disgorged in June 2017.

Pol Roger continues to deliver some of the top values in Champagne. Namely, the vintaged Blanc de Blancs is a great cuvée from the Côte des Blancs, and surely nobody will resist the finesse and mineral vitality of the 2009 vintage, which is simply amazing in its purity, freshness and depth. I haven't tasted the 2009 Rosé so far, but when offered to taste the 2008, I could hardly believe Pol Roger's Rosé can be any better. This is a super sexy but serious, well-structured and vinous Champagne with great class. Furthermore, Pol Roger's Rosé is still affordable and one of my favorite Rosé Champagnes. The 2009 Brut Vintage is still a bit strained but developing, and its finish is really promising. Just give this cuvée a year or two and it will jazz you! The prestigious Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill's recent release is the 2006 vintage, and it's of terrific quality! Full-bodied and rich as it can to be, this heavyweight comes with such finesse onto your palate that you could say, "it flies!"

In contrast to Krug and Roederer, no oak is used at Pol Roger to texture the house style, which is characterized not just by full-bodied richness and remarkable finesse but also the charming, cozy fruit that makes nearly all the cuvées so accessible even in the early years. This fruitiness might be the result of the skillful winemaking that includes two settlings of the must (débourbage), one at the press house and a second (à froid at six degrees C and over a period of 24 hours) in the winery. The alcoholic fermentation of the clean but unfiltered musts takes place at a low temperature (18 degrees Celsius) in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats, with each variety and fruit of each village kept separate until the final blending. All of the wines go through malolactic fermentation. After tasting, blending and bottling, the secondary fermentation and maturing takes place in the cool atmosphere of the Pol Roger cellars in Épernay, which are located 33 meters below street level and have a temperature of 9.5 degrees Celsius (49 degrees Fahrenheit), said to be 0.5 to 1.5 degrees colder than most other Champagne cellars. This slows down the speed of the second fermentation, causing a longer aging on the lees (four years for the non-vintaged cuvées and seven for the vintaged) and, thus, great finesse and longevity. Last but not least, each bottle is given a traditional rémuage, which means that all the bottles are riddled by hand before disgorging and dosage. All in all, this process guarantees a homogenous style and quality of Pol Roger, where only the vintaged cuvées give some variations but without abandoning the rich and finessed Pol Roger style. " (WA)

"Some reductive meaty notes of bacon fat and flint, with lemon cream and butter too, as well as a light forest berry edge and toasted hazelnuts. The palate has attractive lemon citrus cream flavor. Super pure, there's power amongst the charm. This is a great '06. Drink now." (JS)

"A whiff of petrol can be found on the ripe aromas of baked apple, brioche and soft floral scents. The exceptionally rich yet powerful flavors possess an almost creamy mid-palate mouth feel despite the presence of a firm supporting effervescence that also shapes the sappy and wonderfully complex finale. This is a bold, indeed even robust vintage for this famous cuvée and while it could certainly be enjoyed now, I would suggest holding it for another 5ish years as my sense is that even more complexity is almost certain to develop." (BH)

"This is the latest release of this legendary wine. A blend, although with a majority of Pinot Noir (Churchill's preference), the wine is rich, just beginning to show wonderful signs of maturity. It still has intense fruit along with the taut mineral texture that will allow the wine to age further. It is a standout Champagne from this vintage. Drink now, although this Champagne will age for many years." (WE)

Winery Notes:
The friendship between Champagne Pol Roger and Sir Winston Churchill dates back to the 1928 vintage of Pol Roger. This deep friendship continued until his death and created a deep link between the two families. Among his array of famous quotes, Sir Churchill once called Pol Roger “the world's most drinkable address”.

To commemorate this friendship, Pol Roger produced the premiere release of “Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill” with the 1975 vintage, which was produced in magnum only and released in 1984.

While the exact blend is a family secret, it is believed that the wine is blended to meet the late Churchill's approval and is most likely a majority of Pinot Noir. Grapes are sourced from old vines located exclusively in Grand Cru vineyards. Like all Pol Roger Champagnes this cuvée is fermented in stainless steel at very low temperatures. The wine is aged in the deepest portions of the Pol Roger cellars for an average of 10 years prior to release. Maturation in the deep cellars of Pol Roger results in a wine with a very fine mousse and intense and extraordinarily complex layers of fruit, exotic spice and minerality. With immense pride and joy, Pol Roger created this prestige cuvée to honor Sir Winston and is made in a style of which he would approve. The precise blend is a family secret and is produced only in the finest vintages. This cuvée was composed of grapes from the same plots that were sourced to produce Churchill’s favorite vintages, such as the excellent 1928. “SWC” has been called the “greatest luxury cuvée of modern times.”