Our favourite ‘go to’ champagne

When was Pol Roger founded?
Pol Roger made his first sale of wine in January 1849. Family circumstances forced him to set up a business: his father, a notary, had contracted an incurable disease and could no longer carry on his practice. The customer was a merchant in Aÿ, the native village of Pol Roger.

The firm developed rapidly. From Aÿ, it moved to Epernay in 1851.

What makes Pol Roger unique among Champagne producers?
The brand is still owned and run by the descendants of Pol Roger. Unlike many other Champagne houses, it is not part of a conglomerate.

Pol Roger produces about 1.5 million bottles per year, out of a total 300 million bottles of Champagne produced annually, so Pol Roger represents about 0.5% of all champagne produced.

Some larger Champagne houses make 30 million bottles…

What is the style of Pol Roger champagne?
Though the wines used to be made in oak barrels, there are only steel tanks at Pol Roger nowadays, so the wines are super-fresh.

Pol Roger Brut Réserve NV is the definitive house-style, composed from 30 still base wines drawn from at least two vintages, and the three varieties of Champagne – Pinot Noir (for structure and body), Chardonnay (for elegance and lightness), and Pinot Meunier (for freshness and fruitiness) – blended in equal portions.

It is never released until it is at least three years old.

What is the connection between Pol Roger and Sir Winston Churchill?
Sir Winston Churchill is thought to have drink 42,000 bottles of champagne in his lifetime, many of which were Pol Roger.

He was an unwavering client of the firm and called Pol Roger’s home in Epernay “the most delightful address in the world”.

The relationship between Pol Roger and Sir Winston Churchill dates to a meeting at a luncheon given by the British Ambassador to France some months after the liberation of Paris. Attending the lunch was the beautiful Odette Pol-Roger, who struck up an instant rapport with Churchill. A friendship was born which continued until Churchill’s death, creating links between the Pol Roger and Churchill families which remain strong to this day.

Commencing with the 1975, only 19 vintages of the exceptional Pol Roger Cuvée Winston Churchill have been released to date.

What are the best bottle sizes for enjoying Pol Roger with friends?
All bottles of Pol Roger – from a 37.5cl half-bottle up – are delicious.

Up to Jeroboam (three-litre/four-bottle) size, the wine undergoes its second fermentation (which gives the champagne its bubbles) in the bottle itself.

The even larger Pol Roger bottlings – Methuselah (six litres, or eight bottles); Salmanezah (nine litres/12 bottles); Balthazar (12 litres/16 bottles); and Nebuchadnezzar (15 litres/20 bottles ) – contain wine that was fermented in standard 75cl bottles and then decanted into the bigger bottle.

They’re wonderful – but a Jeroboam is the most upstanding of Pol Roger’s glass containers. It’s three litres of pure bliss.

Our favourite ‘go to’ champagne

When was Pol Roger founded?
Pol Roger made his first sale of wine in January 1849. Family circumstances forced him to set up a business: his father, a notary, had contracted an incurable disease and could no longer carry on his practice. The customer was a merchant in Aÿ, the native village of Pol Roger.

The firm developed rapidly. From Aÿ, it moved to Epernay in 1851.

What makes Pol Roger unique among Champagne producers?
The brand is still owned and run by the descendants of Pol Roger. Unlike many other Champagne houses, it is not part of a conglomerate.

Pol Roger produces about 1.5 million bottles per year, out of a total 300 million bottles of Champagne produced annually, so Pol Roger represents about 0.5% of all champagne produced.

Some larger Champagne houses make 30 million bottles…

What is the style of Pol Roger champagne?
Though the wines used to be made in oak barrels, there are only steel tanks at Pol Roger nowadays, so the wines are super-fresh.

Pol Roger Brut Réserve NV is the definitive house-style, composed from 30 still base wines drawn from at least two vintages, and the three varieties of Champagne – Pinot Noir (for structure and body), Chardonnay (for elegance and lightness), and Pinot Meunier (for freshness and fruitiness) – blended in equal portions.

It is never released until it is at least three years old.

What is the connection between Pol Roger and Sir Winston Churchill?
Sir Winston Churchill is thought to have drink 42,000 bottles of champagne in his lifetime, many of which were Pol Roger.

He was an unwavering client of the firm and called Pol Roger’s home in Epernay “the most delightful address in the world”.

The relationship between Pol Roger and Sir Winston Churchill dates to a meeting at a luncheon given by the British Ambassador to France some months after the liberation of Paris. Attending the lunch was the beautiful Odette Pol-Roger, who struck up an instant rapport with Churchill. A friendship was born which continued until Churchill’s death, creating links between the Pol Roger and Churchill families which remain strong to this day.

Commencing with the 1975, only 19 vintages of the exceptional Pol Roger Cuvée Winston Churchill have been released to date.

What are the best bottle sizes for enjoying Pol Roger with friends?
All bottles of Pol Roger – from a 37.5cl half-bottle up – are delicious.

Up to Jeroboam (three-litre/four-bottle) size, the wine undergoes its second fermentation (which gives the champagne its bubbles) in the bottle itself.

The even larger Pol Roger bottlings – Methuselah (six litres, or eight bottles); Salmanezah (nine litres/12 bottles); Balthazar (12 litres/16 bottles); and Nebuchadnezzar (15 litres/20 bottles ) – contain wine that was fermented in standard 75cl bottles and then decanted into the bigger bottle.

They’re wonderful – but a Jeroboam is the most upstanding of Pol Roger’s glass containers. It’s three litres of pure bliss.