2004 Pol Roger Champagne Cuvee 'Sir Winston Churchill'
by JJ Buckley Fine Wines
On Sale $188.94 (reg. $209.94)
Few Champagne houses carry the caché of Pol Roger, and few prestige cuvées carry the, well, prestige, of Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill. We’ve got a tiny parcel of the superb 2004 vintage, only the 15th bottling of this ultra-rare Champagne and perhaps the best yet made.
For those unfamiliar with the story, Pol Roger’s Sir Winston Churchill is a homage to the British wartime Prime Minister. Churchill was a lifelong fan of the Champagne house and friend of the Pol Roger family, having instantly struck up a rapport with the charming Odette Pol Roger during a 1944 lunch. Pol Roger launched the first vintage, 1975, in 1984. Since then, the cuvée is only produced in exceptional years and released in extremely limited quantities.
Per Antonio Galloni, the wine, “named after the estate’s most famous customer, is often among the finest wines in the region.” Though Churchill himself had passed away before the inaugural release of his namesake Champagne, one suspects that he would have approved: “My tastes are simple, I am easily satisfied with the best.”
The precise blend and source of the Grand Cru vineyards are a well-kept secret, though the fruit comes from old vines planted during Churchill’s lifetime. The cuvée is blended specifically with Churchill’s taste preferences in mind, making for a robust, full-bodied and mature style that is capable of considerable aging.
The critical acclaim for this 2004 vintage is universal: “Effortless grace,” per Decanter (98pts); “memorable,” says Wine Enthusiast (97pts); “very high class,” according to John Gilman (96pts); and “pure and elegant...highly complex,” according to the Wine Advocate (95pts).
Even better, this has the dual benefit of drinking wonderfully now, yet also primed to withstand some serious cellar time. Suckling says it has “plenty to offer now but best from 2020 and a decade after that still” (95pts).
Whether you’re planning a celebration for this summer or ten years from now, a case of 2004 Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill will ensure that you do that in the utmost style. This is unmissable for serious collectors of Champagne. Cheers!