torsdag 3. juli 2014

Champagne of the Year 2014

GF 24.5.14




Champagne Cuveè William Deutz Millesimè 1988

Strågul, semimoden med god og pen mousse. Epler, autolyse, klassisk epleskrott, Blanc de Blancs ? Mye energi, skallmaserert munnfølelse med en bitter og kledelig avslutning. Kanskje litt for bitter og vanskelig hale, men det synes jeg ofte 1988 har. Lyse blomster, noe tanniner, stram og ultraklassisk. Utfordrende munnfølelse, en vin for de kresne, men ikke for alle. 94 poeng. Medatt av Are.





Champagne Deutz Blanc de Blancs Brut 1989

Lysere strågul med enda mere epleskrott. Elegant og stålaktig lineær. Syrlig og frisk og den mangler litt på finish. Sjøaroma, Blanc de Blancs ? Floral og saltaktig. Begynnende modning og relativ stram for årgangens litt bløte stil. Sitronskall, kompleks og rik. Champagnen fremstår mere moden enn nr. 1 og således viser de en korrekt årgangskarakter. En stor og deilig champagne og den kan fortsatt lagres. Bedre enn husets toppcuveè !! 95 poeng. Medtatt av Knut.







Champagne Cristal 1973, Roederer

Mørkere gylden farge med toner av butterscotch og karamell. En rik og utviklet champagne. Men denne har fremdeles spenst og sitter friskt og lenge i munnen. Fullmoden med bra konsentrasjon. Utvikler seg utrolig godt i glasset. Vinøs, kompleks og spennende. Men bør drikkes nå. Brun frukt er ofte ikke å foretrekke i champagne, men dette var bra ! 98 poeng. CHAMPAGNE OF THE YEAR 2014 !! Medtatt av Øyvind.





Champagne Cuveè William Deutz Millesimè 1988

Lysere strågul og lineær. Virker som den er i et enklere format enn de andre i rekken. 1996 ? Ung og fersk. Beholder friskheten i glasset. Bør fortsatt lagres. 93 poeng. Medtatt av Roar.

søndag 22. juni 2014

Hermitage Chave vs La Chapelle


GF 23.5.2014



Hermitage 1995, Domaine Jean-Louis Chave

Moden duft med lysere fruktbilde og et delikat burgunderaktig tilsnitt. Sigar, lær og fjøs, litt bretty med underskog og sopp.. Kompleks og parfymert og vinen gir mye i glasset. Raffinert og sart nese, snev av pepper, lang ettersmak av skogsbær. Fast og solid. En deilig vin, som viser at Hermitage fra Chave bør ligge i minimum 15 år. Men ingen erketypisk klassisk Hermitage. 94 poeng.





Hermitage La Chapelle 1995, Paul Jaboulet (magnum)

Reduktiv nese med hermetikkboks/mais, lukket og således typisk solid magnum som trenger mere luft før konsum. Kjølig fruktbilde, fokusert og animalsk. Skogbunn med pepper og begynnende utvikling. Markerte tanniner og et godt jordsmonnspreg. Overraskende solid vs. Chave 95 og den stod ikke mye tilbake for denne. Kan være at magnumstørrelsen også spilte inn. Men uansett en av de siste bra Chapellene før de begynte å lage dårligere viner. 94 poeng.




Hermitage 1996, Domaine Jean-Louis Chave

Mørk i fargen, litt kokt. Varmeskadet ? Litt "bag in box" nese, snev av buljong. Ikke vurdert.





Hermitage La Chapelle 1996, Paul Jaboulet

Moden og varm nese, frisk og yppig frukt. Fremdeles gode og solide tanniner. Litt vanskelig nå. Bør ligge. 92 poeng.

Vinmøte Øistein 27.10.11; Mørk og frisk frukt med litt spiss utenpåliggende syre. Kompakt syrah med Grange preg, snev av rosin og de fleste var overseas her. Vinen bør lagres. Litt buljong og lukket og vinen går mere mot Barolo i glasset. 90 poeng.

Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle 1996: A really attractive hue here, still plenty of pigment, just showing some appealing maturity, but good depth. And a lovely nose too, full of youthful potential, with bittersweet cherry fruit swirled in little notes of roasted meat, smouldering embers and even touch of rather atypical garrigue. Richly creamy on entry, with a firm presence of rather svelte tannins and fresh acidity, giving a lovely sense of extract, all combined to give a delicious depth and structure. Good cherry fruit too, but overall its the appealing texture and those almost roasted, ripe tannins that impress. There is a presence, a certainty of a fine future here that I find really persuasive, assisted by a decent albeit rather tannic length. Jaboulet has been criticised (perhaps rightly) in recent years for turning out lesser wines (and has been subsequently sold by the family), but it is clear to my palate that whenever the rot set in, it was certainly after the 1996 vintage. From a 1996 vintage ten years on tasting. 18.5+/20 (December 2006)

Jaboulet was founded in the early 19th Century - history has failed to conserve the exact date for us. All we know is that when records began in 1834, there was a Jaboulet making wine in Tain l'Hermitage. This was the man credited with founding the firm of Jaboulet, Antoine. Antoine Jaboulet had twins (I know how that feels) called Henri and Paul, who were a significant driving force in developing the business, so much so that the full title of the family firm is actually Paul Jaboulet Aîné, named after the elder (aîné) of the two boys.

As the decades passed the family had an abundance of sons to look after the business. Paul's sons Louis and Henri, and Henri's sons Louis and Jean all played their part. Then in the later years of the 20th Century Gérard Jaboulet, son to Louis, took the helm. Gérard died in 1997, and following that tragic event no less than seven members of the Jaboulet family ran the business; Michel, Jacques, Philippe, Odile, Frédéric, Nicolas and Laurent made up the team. Philippe Jaboulet was Director of the Jaboulet estates, a job he took over in 1992, after a nasty scuba-diving accident left former director Jacques Jaboulet disabled. The most significant development in the history of Paul Jaboulet Aîné for many years, however, came late in 2005, with news that the business, complete with vineyards and stock of back vintages, had been sold to the Frey family, who also own Chateau La Lagune in Bordeaux. It was reported that French inheritance taxes created the need to sell, but I do wonder whether other reasons, such as a lack of a firm direction, may have played a part.

The Jaboulet range includes appellations from throughout the Rhône Valley, both north and south. It includes a decent Cotes du Rhone Parallèle 45 as well as cuvées from lesser appellations such as Coteaux du Tricastin and there is even a vin de table. As is the case with other top négociants such as Chapoutier and Delas, however, it is in the appellations of the northern Rhône that Jaboulet excels. And although the family own vines in pretty much every significant appellation, it is with Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage that Jaboulet has really established its reputation as an important player in the Rhône Valley. The jewel in the portfolio has usually been the Hermitage La Chapelle, matched only by the white Hermitage Chevalier de Sterimberg (named after the hermit that lived on the site of the chapel on the hill of Hermitage), and all told Jaboulet own approximately 25 hectares of vines on the hill, second only in terms of vineyard holdings to the local (and good value) co-operative in Tain l'Hermitage and Chapoutier. There is another old favourite in the portfolio, this being the excellent value-for-money Crozes-Hermitage Domaine de Thalabert. In recent years the Jaboulet family had extended their vineyard holdings in the northern Rhône, purchasing the Domaine St Pierre in Cornas in 1993 and the once great Domaine Raymond Roure in Crozes-Hermitage in 1996. Both sites have been sources of fabulous grapes for Jaboulet, bottled bearing the recognisable Jaboulet label, but also bearing the name of the original domaine. One other northern Rhone wine worthy of mention is the St Joseph Le Grand Pompée, a longstanding feature of the Jaboulet portfolio, named after a character in La Legende des Siècles by Victor Hugo. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s many of these wines provided fans of the Rhône Valley with some delicious and elegant drinking.

Vineyard and winery practices are modern and quality orientated, with destemming, separate vinification of individual plots prior to evaluation and limited use of press wine. There is, however, use of some cultivated yeast. New oak is used for the Hermitage Chevalier de Sterimberg only, the reds go into used barrels. With the acquisition of the business by the Frey family it should come as no surprise that many of these barrels are today first used at their Haut-Médoc estate, Chateau La Lagune, where there is a policy of 100% new oak each vintage, so there is a plentiful supply of one-year old barrels to be shipped over to Tain l'Hermitage. The use of oak at Jaboulet seems sensible, varying from six months for Domaine de Thalabert up to 18 months for Hermitage La Chapelle. The wines are filtered - possibly more than once - prior to bottling.

Unfortunately, although it is without doubt that La Chapelle has been magnificent in vintages as recent as 1995 and 1996, reports from 1998 onwards suggested that quality faltered - a travesty in great vintages such as 1998 and 1999. My own tastings of the La Chapelle cuvée from these two vintages would only support this finding; they are not shocking wines per se, but when one compares them with their peers, in the context of a great vintage, it quickly becomes clear that what should be one of the top wines of the vintage and region is seriously lacking. Is this drop off in quality related to the death of Gérard Jaboulet in 1997? My own suspicion is that this is probably the case, but I suppose only the Jaboulet family themselves can really answer this question. Whatever the cause, I can only hope that this cuvée, generally sourced from vines in Les Bessards, Les Greffieux and Le Méal on the hill of Hermitage - not from the vines around the chapel as is commonly thought - sees a return to form, and perhaps the firm's acquisition by the Frey family will provide the impetus necessary to ensure this happens. One very noticeable development in the short time since they took control of the domaine is price; often released with a price tag of about £40 in the UK, the 2006 just about topped en primeur lists with a figure more than double that, approaching £100 per bottle. I look forward with interest to the opportunity to taste these more recent vintages. 




Hermitage La Chapelle 1999, Paul Jaboulet

Kefir, gjær og blåbæryogurt i nesa. Noe kokt og vanskelig i munnen, thight og reduktiv. Bør fortsatt lagres ? Viser nedturen for Chapelle. 88 poeng.



Hermitage 1999, Domaine Jean-Louis Chave

Sursøt tett frukt og et betydelig mørkere fruktbilde enn Chapelle 99. Noe italiensk over dette, fragrant og delikat munnfølelse med snev av sommerblomster. Tydelige tanniner, men samtidig elegant med skogsaromaer og krydrede blomsteressens. Jordbær, skogsbunn med kjølig og tøff struktur. Kanskje tanninene blir litt for tøffe for frukten. Genuin og korrekt 1999 årgang. Fremstår noe hard og ytterligere lagring anbefales. 93 poeng.





Hermitage La Chapelle 1998, Paul Jaboulet

Sursøt og blass på nesa. Vått papir, bra struktur og god frukt i munnen.  Litt varm og tørker på finish. Lever ikke opp til årgangens gode rykte. 87 poeng




Hermitage 1998, Domaine Jean-Louis Chave

Mere fat og søtere aromabilde. Solide tanniner, sursøt og vinen bør fortsatt lagres. Uforløst, pepper og gummi. God syre med lang ettersmak. Litt utenpåliggende moderne fatbruk og åpenbart en vin som viser årgangens potensiale. 91 poeng.


fredag 6. juni 2014

White Wine of the Year 2014 II

GF fredag  23.5.2014:




Puligny Montrachet 1cru Les Pucelles 2005, D. Henri Boillot

Mere hvite blomster, mere mineralitet og en korrekt Pucelles-typisitet. Noe røkte fattoner, spenstig i munnen med tydelig citrus. Slank som en Pucelles skal være. Flere trodde dette var en Leflaive og det var vel årgangen som spilte litt inn her. Mister litt kompleksitet, men stram og lang i ettersmak. Fokusert med kjølig frukt. Sjø, jordsmonnspreget og med en livlig energi. Kim syntes denne var best. 94 poeng. Roar hadde med denne.



Chevalier Montrachet 2004, Domaine Leflaive

Grønn tone med en veldig mineralsk strenghet. Mye svovel som flere reagerte sterkt på. Roar og Kim var først i Chablis ! Citrus og streng i munnen, slank, kalkaktig og frisk. Denne virker yngre enn sine 10 år. Bra konsentrasjon, spennende, men svovelnivået ødelegger.Utvikler seg negativt i glasset og lukter rart etter 1t. Noe endimensjonal etterhvert. Men syrespenstigheten var som et sverdslag. Uheldig flaske eller garderte Leflaive seg for mye mot premox ? 89 poeng. Øistein hadde med denne vinen.





Riesling Morstein GG 2012, Weingut Keller

Tydelig riesling med pære og citrus. Floral med god mineralitet. Aromatisk Riesling-enjoy vin ! Frisk med tyggis og kald jasminte.Transparent samtidig fet i munnen. 2012 er bedre enn 2011 ! Aprikos og mandarin. Deilig vin , men man vinner ikke WWotY med riesling ! 92 poeng. Øyvind hadde med denne vinen.




Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2000, Bonneau du Martray

Are prøvde seg også med denne. Premox. Ikke vurdert.




søndag 1. juni 2014

White Wine of the Year 2014 I


GF fredag 23.5.14



Batard-Montrachet 2002, Blain-Gagnard 

Litt cheesy småoksidert og gylden på nese. Champagne og nedfallsepler og det modne preget i vinen blir ikke borte. En bra munnfølelse, etter den litt vanskelige nesa. Bra og frisk munn med honningtoner, noe brent premox og smør. Kraftig stil som ikke klarer å overdøve et visst sherrypreg. Personlig synes jeg produsenten ofte mangler eleganse og raffinement. 88 poeng. Are hadde med denne.






Bienvenue Batard-Montrachet 2005, Domaine Ramonet

Glassklar og blek i glasset. Transparent, konsentrert, ren og frisk i munnen. Behagelig Grand Cru følelse i munnen med mye fat og fete toner. Lang ettersmak og vinen kan fortsatt lagres. Litt lukket nå. Men pga. premoxfaren er det vel ingen som tør lagre hvit butgundervin lengre enn 6-7 år ? Spearmint, stram og fin i munnen. Utvikler noen buttery-scotch toner. 95 poeng og WHITE WINE OF THE YEAR 2014 !! Kim hadde med denne.






Criots-Batard-Montrachet 2006, Henri Boillot

Noe undermoden og kjølig frukt. Men samtidig pen gylden strågul og mere citrus enn Ramonet. Litt mindre konsentrasjon og den xtreme syra dominerer. Veldig frisk, noe lukket, litt skarp kant, bør lagres (?) og mangler endel kompleksitet. Lang ettersmak med toast og fat. En veldig god og harmonisk vin. Dette Grand Cru`et ligger i sin helhet i Chassagne Montrachet og det kan merkes. 93 poeng. Knut hadde med denne.

tirsdag 27. mai 2014

Clos Cazals 2002 & Kistler 2003

Generalforsamling 23.5.14:



Champagne Clos Cazals Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut 2002

En rik BdB som de fleste mente hadde Pinot i seg. Mye frukt, god fylde, bred munnfølelse og litt endimensjonal. Men stor og diger, breial og deilig. Men den mangler betydelig presisjon. En snill BdB som blir slapp etter en tid i glasset. Merkelig egentlig at dette er xtrabrut. 90 poeng.

Fra dN.no;  6319 Cazals Clos Cazals Blanc de blancs Brut 2002 
Kroner 733,80 spesialpol. 89 poeng. Moestue Grape Selections 
Dufter av gjær, brødbakst og gule epler. Rik og noe fyldig frukt på smak kombinert med frisks syr. Vika og Valken. Drikk nå til 2020. Passer til skalldyr. MB









Kistler Pinot Noir 2003

Rik, moden og tydelig oversjøisk Pinot. Voldsom nese med blomster og rike bær. Det blir litt mye, men vinen har holdt seg forbausende godt i 11 år. Frisk og stram fremdeles i munnen, men produsenten lager
nok bedre hvite enn røde viner. 88 poeng.

From princeofpinot.com; Is there another winery in California that is been so successful without any marketing whatsoever, no public relations to speak of, no public tastings, no tasting room, absolutely nothing to suggest the owners have any interest in their consumer base? Probably the success has come through Robert Parker, Jr., who is one of the privileged few to be able to taste Kistler's wines and anoints them as royalty. That is not to say the wines are not worthy. Kistler's Chardonnays set the standard for a style of California Chardonnay that is now commonplace in California. The Chardonnays go through 100% MLF, are barrel fermented and come out the other side very buttery and appealing, although their greatest attribute is as a sipping wine and not primarily a food-friendly wine. My wife and I adore the Chardonnays.
The Pinot Noirs early on were highly extracted and heavily oaked, appealing to Parker's palate, but off-putting to many others especially in light of the high prices that were demanded. The winemaking style for the Pinot Noirs has mellowed in recent years to the benefit of the wines. The wines are composed of both French Dijon and heritage clones. They undergo extended maceration and cuvaison up to four weeks, and are aged 14 months in 100% new French oak barrels and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
The Pinot Noirs come from low-yielding vineyards in the Russian River Valley (Kistler Vineyard) and Sonoma Coast. Besides a Sonoma Coast blend produced for many years, in the late 2000s small production single vineyard Pinot Noirs appeared from three coastal vineyards including Silver Belt (Cuvée Natalie) , Occidental Station (Cuvée Catherine), and Bodega Headlands (Cuvée Elizabeth). The limited Pinot Noir production is variable in amount depending on vintage tonnage, but usually about 4,000 cases annually.
Not much is revealed publicly about the winery but production is probably around 25,000 cases of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay annually. Nine different Chardonnays were offered in 2009.Almost all of the wine is sold through a mailing list with allocations based on years of customer loyalty and volume of customer purchases. The list is almost ruthless in that those who do not regularly buy in significant amounts soon suffer the consequences of scrawny allowances or banishment from the list. These are wines for only the well-to-do as they start at $70 a bottle and go up to $120. The minimum purchase from each twice-yearly offering is one case.
The winery was founded in 1978 and the first several years were rocky with some serious winemaking problems Since then, success has come quickly and today all of the wine is quickly snapped up. The proprietors are Steve Kistler and Mark Bixler. Steve Kistler received a B.A. from Stanford University, studied at University California Davis and Fresno State University for two years, and was an assistant at Ridge Vineyards for two years before founding Kistler Vineyards. He serves as winemaker and oversees vineyard operations. Mark Bixler received degrees from M.I.T. and U.C. Berkeley, taught Chemistry at Fresno State University for seven years, and worked at Fetzer Vineyards for two years. Mark shares winemaking responsibilities, and is the chemist and business manager for Kistler Vineyards. Bill Price, who also owns a portion of Durell Vineyard and the Three Sticks label, is a majority shareholder.
The grape sources include some of the finest vineyards in Napa and Sonoma Counties. After years of planning, a new winery was built at the Kistler's Vine Hill Vineyard in the Russian River Valley in 1992. The facility is state of the art, optimized for the production of limited quantities of the very highest quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.





Vougeot 1cru Les Cras 2002, Mongeard-Mugneret

En moderat versjon av Kistler med nedjustert nese og kjølig, mere balansert frukt. Mangler kompleksitet, endimensjonal, men en god 1cru fra et godt og solid år. Les Cras ligger rett nord for muren og Grand Cru "Clos Vougeot". 89 poeng.

fredag 9. mai 2014

Dauvissat & Pinson

Vinmøte Jon  22.4.14


Chablis 1cru La Forest 1995, Vincent Dauvissat

Lys og gylden med eldet preg.  Varm frukt, men fremdeles relativ frisk med godt sitrusbitt. Tydelig chablis med kalkaktig mineralitet og den typiske karakterfulle og rike Dauvissatstilen. Blir renere etterhvert i glasset. Vi har jo hatt flere oksiderte flasker av denne, kan det være at premox blir borte med alder ? 89-91 poeng.


søndag 4. mai 2014

Pol Roger Winston Churchill 1998

Vinmøte Jon 22.4.14



Champagne V.O. Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs, Jacques Selosse

Bløt, flat og oksidert. Moden med mye smak. Vinøs og oksidativ. Vanskelig å vurdere. Retur flaske. Ikke vurdert.

Wine Advocate November, 2011 If Initial can be described as feminine, the NV Extra-Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru V.O. (Version Originale) is decidedly masculine. Here the fruit shows off remarkable depth and muscle, with deep, burnished tones that add complexity and weight to a dense, structured, yet plush expression of Chardonnay. The wine literally covers every inch of the palate with layers of mineral-drenched fruit. This is a fabulous showing for the Version Originale. Disgorged October 20, 2010. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2016. Robert Parker''s Wine Advocate 30/11/2012 Selosse’s NV Extra-Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru V.O. represents an attractive middle ground in range. It isn’t as bright as the Initial, nor is it as complex as the Substance. Hazelnuts, dried pears, honey and crushed flowers come alive in the glass, but the aromas and flavors are really quite secondary to the wine’s incredible textural depth and  richness. Generous and inviting, the V.O. is another superb wine. This release is a blend of vintages 2003, 2004 and 2005 all from Avize, Cramant and Oger. The fruit, from hillside parcels, and the extended bottle both contribute significantly to the wine’s personality. Disgorgement date: October 27, 2011. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018. Despite all of the acclaim and recognition Anselme Selosse has received over the years, he continues to push the envelope of what Champagne is and can be. The new lieu-dit Champagnes, which now encompass six different bottlings – all of them multi-vintage blends – are off the charts, but frankly, so are the rest of the wines.Selosse fans might also want to consider a stay at Les Avizes, the hotel Anselme Selosse and his wife Corinne recently opened in Avize, which is probably the best way to visit this iconic producer. This set of wines opens with the superb NV Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Version Originale, a blend of 2002, 2001 and 2000 juice from Avize and Cramant. The wine reveals an extraordinary array of honey, cloves and candied orange peel in what is an unctuous, full-bodied style at the outset. The wine turns more delicate in the glass, with notes of minerals and spices that come forward. The rich texture and slightly oxidative notes make this a wonderfully complete wine to enjoy now and over the next few years. The Originale is made from hillside vineyards, and Selosse describes the wine as vertical, but to me the expression of fruit is linear and focused. The dosage is 1.2 grams per liter and this bottle was disgorged on October 23, 2007 Anticipated maturity: 2008-2014. Readers will need to drop all preconceived notions about what Champagne is and can be in order to fully experience the wines of Anselme and Corinne Selosse, as these are Champagnes like no other. No one has pushed the boundaries of what Champagne can be further than Selosse. As great as his own wines are, Selosse’s most lasting legacy may very well be influencing the younger generation of producers who have worked alongside him over the years. For the last six years Selosse has been absent from the US market and his wines virtually impossible to obtain, but thankfully that is starting to change. Selosse represents the most poetic voice behind the idea that Champagne is first and foremost a wine before it is anything else. Selosse takes this one step further by eschewing vintage designations for most of his wines, as the qualities he seeks to exalt most are those of his 7.5 vineyards in Avize, Cramant, Oger, Le Mesnil, Ay, Mareuil-sur- Ay and Ambonnay. The various cuvees are assembled barrel by barrel based on how the wines taste to Selosse, rather than through technical analysis and/or predetermined selection of sites, parcels, etc. Selosse’s newest wine is a solera-style Champagne from the famed Le Mesnil vineyard, perhaps the most storied site in all of Champagne. I tasted the first vintage, the 2003, which will ultimately be blended with subsequent vintages to form a solera-style Champagne. It was superb. I also tasted similar solera-style wines from Avize, Cramant, Le Mesnil, Mareuil-sur- Ay and Ambonnay from barrel, all of which were compelling. The Selosse Champagnes possess extraordinary aromatics and a very fine mousse that is the result of density and richness in the fruit. With a few minutes in the glass, the bubbles will completely disappear from most of the wines. These Champagnes are best enjoyed with food, and should be served in generous white wine glasses rather than the customary flutes, which will allow for the full range of the wines’ aromas and flavors to emerge. Simply put, these are among the most monumental, profound wines being made anywhere, but like a great novel, painting or symphony, the greatest enjoyment and purest pleasure awaits those who engage the wines fully. (92) (94)





Champagne Sir Winston Churchill 1998, Pol Roger

Mere mousse, ivrig og intens. På den slanke siden, elegant med et litt surt og kledelig bitt på slutten av smakskurven.Noe sødme i midtparti, Henriot mente Are. Noe uenighet om en tørket frukttone dro ned eller ikke. Noe tanniner fra skall. En stor champagne fra en middels årgang. Litt skuffene mht. pris og cuvee.     90-92 poeng.


Dosage: 10.5 g/l
Churchill's relationship with Pol Roger dates back to 1945, although he had been a loyal customer as far back as 1908. At a luncheon given by the British ambassador to France after the liberation of Paris, Churchill met the charming and captivating Odette Pol-Roger and began a friendship, indulged by his wife Clementine, which lasted until Sir Winston's death in 1965. Each year on his birthday, Odette would send him a case of vintage champagne. In honour of his friendship, Churchill named one of his favourite racehorses after her, and made sure that she was invited to lunch at the British embassy every time he was in Paris. Despite never actually visiting 44 Avenue de Champagne, Churchill proclaimed it "the most drinkable address in the world". So close was his relationship with the family that, on Churchill's death, Pol Roger put black-bordered labels on the bottles destined for the UK. In 1975, Pol Roger went one step further and named their prestige cuvée after him, making it in the robust, mature style that he liked so much.
The exact composition of this Cuvée is a family secret but it is likely that Pinot Noir dominates 70-80% of the blend with the rest being Chardonnay. The grapes are all from Grand Cru vineyards which were under vine during Churchill’s lifetime and it is only made in the very best vintages. The 1998 vintage shows all the hallmarks of a truly outstanding year with high natural sugar content in the grapes and an excellent level of acidity indicating an exceptional overall balance and long ageing potential.
Given its youth the wine still holds a lot in reserve but it has a masculine structure and phenomenal length.