The must undergoes two débourbages (settlings), one at the press house immediately after pressing and the second, a débourbage à froid, in stainless steel tanks at 6°C over a 24 hour period. A slow cool fermentation with the temperature kept under 18°C takes place in stainless steel, with each variety and each village kept separate until final blending. The wine undergoes a full malolactic fermentation. Secondary fermentation takes place in bottle at 9°C in the deepest Pol Roger cellars (33 metres below street level) where the wine is kept until it undergoes remuage (riddling) by hand, a rarity in Champagne nowadays.
The very fine and persistent mousse for which Pol Roger is renowned owes much to these deep, cool and damp cellars.
Following some frost in December, the beginning of 2008 was marked by mild and humid weather conditions. However, by contrast, March and April were cool and rainy, even hit by spells of snow and frost. Good temperatures in May rapidly boosted growth. The summer months were characterised by extremely variable weather, with storms in July, cool weather and limited sunny periods in August. The “Véraison” (changing of colour and onset of ripening) started in early August and by this point, the conditions in the vineyard were outstanding. September brought excellent weather, and the picking started on 15th September in sunny conditions. The grapes were healthy, and the sugar/acidity balance, perfect.
A pure delight of a Champagne to be savoured by itself or as an aperitif with foie gras on toasted brioche fingers. It is also the undisputed partner of rich dishes such as chicken supreme with chanterelle mushrooms or sweetbreads cooked with morels.
60% Pinot Noir 40% Chardonnay
Available: 75cl Bottle, 150cl Magnum, 300cl Jeroboam
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.