Pol Roger Rich (Demi-Sec Champagne)
The nose opens with beguiling hints of beeswax and apricot which are repeated on the palate and reinforced with notes of acacia honey. Despite the sweetness it is remarkably refreshing and the acidity cuts right through the heart of the champagne leaving the palate cleansed. This would be the perfect toast to serve with wedding cake but equally it complements tarts and cumbles.
Rich NV is a precise replica of Brut Réserve NV being blended from 30 still base wines from different vineyards, different vintages and the three main grape varieties which dominate the champagne region: Pinot Noir contributes body, depth of character and lifeextending tannins and comes from the villages of the Montagne de Reims – Verzy, Verzenay, Mailly, Ambonnay, Mardeuil and Louvois; Chardonnay provides the lightness, elegance and finesse and is drawn from Epernay itself and the villages of the Côte des Blancs – Cuis, Oiry, Oger, Vertus, Moussy and Chouilly; Pinot Meunier supplies youthful freshness, vigour and plump character with the grapes coming from the Vallée d’Epernay – Vincelles, Venteuil, Troissy, Damery, Vandières, Brugny, Chavot, Monthelon and Pierry.
This sweeter style was reintroduced to satisfy the demand from markets where a semi-dry champagne was required to pair with desserts or wedding cake or for those with a sweeter palate. In all other regards it is a replica of the Brut Réserve.
33% Pinot Noir, 34% Chardonnay and 33% Pinot Meunier
What makes Rich NV different from Brut Réserve is the increased dosage of 34 g/l of sugar which makes it the perfect drink for occasions when something a little less dry is called for.
Pol Roger, a Champenois from Aÿ, founded his champagne house in Epemay in 1849. Over the next 50 years, until his death in 1899, he built his business into one of the most respected in Champagne and, in particular, forged strong trade links with Britain. The founder was succeeded by his sons, Maurice and Georges, who changed their names to Pol-Roger by deed poll and, thereafter, by a further three generations of his direct descendants. To this day the company remains small, family-owned, fiercely independent and unrivalled in its reputation for quality
Pol Roger own 87 hectares of prime vineyard sites spread over the Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de Ia Marme, the Vallée d'Epemay and the Côte des Blancs. This supply is supplemented by grapes purchased on long-term contracts with growers based on the best sites in the region. Total production at Pol Roger is in the region of 1.5 million bottles per annum, making them one of the smaller of the Grandes Marques.
The cellars extend some 7 kilometres beneath the streets of Epernay and are carved out of the local chalk over three levels, the deepest known as the ‘cave de prise de mousse’ at 33m below street level. As the name suggests this is where the wine undergoes its secondary fermentation in bottle. This deep cellar is at 9° or less, rather than a normal cellar temperature of 11-12°, thus prolonging this fermentation.
They are amongst the coolest and deepest cellars in the region, a factor which contributes to the famously fine bubbles in Pol Roger's champagnes.