The relationship between Champagne Pol Roger and Sir Winston Churchill dates back to a providential meeting at a luncheon given by the British Ambassador to France some months after the liberation of Paris at which the sumptuous 1928 vintage of Pol Roger was served. Attending the lunch was the beautiful Odette Pol-Roger as well as the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, with whom she struck up an instant rapport. A friendship was born which continued until Churchill’s death, creating links between the Pol-Roger and Churchill families which are still as strong to this day. The pressures of his post sadly prevented Churchill ever paying a visit to 44 Avenue de Champagne, the home of Champagne Pol Roger, but he nonetheless proclaimed it “the most drinkable address in the world”. As recompense for breaking his promise to visit he sent Odette a copy of his Memoirs inscribed “Cuvée de Réserve, mise en bouteille au Chateau de Chartwell”. He even named one of his racehorses “Pol Roger” and the filly strode to victory at Kempton Park in 1953, Coronation Year.
The Story of the Vintage
After a particularly cold winter, Spring 2009 started with fairly mild temperatures, permitting the vines to avoid frost damage. In spite of some storm spells, this weather pattern boosted vegetation. June and July were also affected by variable weather, but August was sunny, dry and hot, with cool nights, leading to a favourable and quick evolution in maturity. Harvesting started on September 8th in excellent sunny conditions and lasted till September 21st. The grapes were then perfectly healthy. The 2009 crop is characterised by a potential average degree over 10% and a total acidity close to 7,5H2SO4 g/1.
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