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March 10, 2020

Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2009 6×75 – £680 IB

Cuvee-Sir-Winston-Churchill

This afternoon we are delighted to release Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2009, the newest release of their exceptional Prestige Cuvee. It remains untasted by most major critics, prior to its release, but it is very fine indeed. The 2009 vintage overcame early problems and was rewarded with a superb summer, which resulted in a healthy crop of high quality. The Pinot Noir grapes from Montagne de Reims in particular were exceptional. Indeed, as a result of this, many producers compare the 2009 vintage to past greats such as 1982 and 1989. The Sir Winston Churchill 2009 release gives consumers the chance to secure it prior to full critic acclamation. The only major critic to have tasted it is Jancis Robinson, who says it is ‘certainly much fuller and more welcoming than the 2008. Like a liqueur version of Epernay character! But this wine is no simpleton; it really builds on the palate to a dramatically long finish. Powerful! Very friendly rather than stern and Churchillian. As Hubert de Billy says, the 2008 Churchill is for collectors, the 2009 is for drinkers.’ This would seem like a very fair evaluation indeed for those who secured the 2008 which rose 21% since its release. The 2009 represents the perfect vintage to enjoy over the next decade while the 2008 matures to readiness. Indeed, its production is meagre by any standards, yet, perennially growing in rapture in the UK, there is a material shortage of Sir Winston Churchill and it is worth stocking up. The price today on release is £680 per case of six in bond.

Vintage

WA

RJ

Vinous

Price

2009

n/a

n/a

n/a

£680

2008

97

93

95+

£850

2006

95

n/a

n/a

£595

2004

95+

92

94

£650

2002

96

94

95

£850

2000

94

94

94

£750

1999

94

93

94

£1,100

1998

94

94

94

£1,200

1996

n/a

96

95

£1,900

1995

n/a

94

93

£1,500

Pol Roger produce less than 25,000 cases of all their vintage wines, including; Pol Roger Vintage, Chardonnay Vintage, Rose Vintage and Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill. While there is no official production level published for Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill, it is rumoured at less than 4,000 cases for the entire globe.

Pol Roger started producing Champagne in 1849, based in the town of Epernay it continues to this day to be run by his descendants. The estate, relative to the other major houses, has a low production, producing only 110,000 cases across their range, including their leading non-vintage Champagne. Pol Roger has strong ties to the UK market; it was the favourite Champagne of Winston Churchill and currently holds the Royal Warrant as Purveyors of Champagne to Queen Elizabeth II. The relationship between Pol Roger and Sir Winston Churchill dates back to a luncheon given by the British Ambassador to France, following the liberation of Paris, where the legendary 1928 Pol Roger was served. In attendance was Odette Pol Roger and the Prime Minister, who became lifelong friends; the Pol Roger and Churchill families are still strongly linked to this day. He even named one of his racehorses ‘Pol-Roger’ which won at Kempton Park in 1953, the Coronation Year.

In 1965, after Churchill’s death, Odette Pol Roger inserted a black border around all labels of Brut NV shipped to the UK. In 1984 they released the first vintage of Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill, the 1975 vintage, which was only released in Magnum. It is composed only from grapes sourced from Grand Cru vineyards, which were under vine in Churchill’s lifetime. The exact blend is a closely guarded secret, although Pinot Noir predominates, providing structure and breadth whilst Chardonnay contributes elegance. It is only made in the best vintages and is released later than the other Cuvee Champagnes to mark Churchill’s appreciation for older Champagne; his favourite vintages were 1928, 1934, and 1947. Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill has replaced Pol Roger P.R. Reserve Speciale at the apex of their range and since 1988 the Reserve Speciale has not been made; Pol Roger see no need to create two competing Prestige Cuvees.