Pol Roger Portfolio Champagne Tasting & Bubbleista Wine Review

I absolutely love this time of year: in November and December there is always a huge uptick in champagne tasting event hosted by producers, distributors, restaurants, and retailers due to the upcoming holidays–and, they also hope, a resulting huge uptick in increased wine sales.

So far be it from me to not avail myself of as many of these fabulously fizzy events as possible. I mean, it would be rude to let all of their hard work and preparation go to waste, no? {wink}

Sooo, of course I selflessly made my way to a recent Pol Roger portfolio tasting a few weeks ago to kick the tasting season off in perfect style. Six champagne were presented {with only the Demi-Sec missing} along with the opportunity to meet and speak with dashing and charming Marketing Director Pierre-Samuel Reyne, who’d flown in all the way from Epernay, France to host the event.

Pol Roger box trio

And, of course, I wanted to share it all with you. After all, every time I get one more person to learn about and love champagne a little more, an angel gets its wings. Yep, it’s like that with The Bubbleista!

Ready? Then let’s get it!

Pol Roger Brut Réserve NV–$50.00

Pol Roger ReserveLaunched by an eighteen year old (!!) Pol Roger in 1849, the storied Champagne Maison went though a bit of a transitional phase in the 1990’s but brilliantly rebounded and now produces more vintage wines than virtually any other house.

FUN FACT: Champagne Pol Roger holds the current Royal Warrant {designated suppliers of goods or services to the royal court} as purveyors of champagne to Queen Elizabeth the II. In fact, this non-vintage Brut Réserve was the actual champagne served at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Blend: The blend is equal parts of the 3 champenois grapes of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. Currently the base wine is comprised of 75% reserve wine from 2013 with the other 25%  reserve wine is from 2010, and it’s aged for 4-5 years.

Aroma Profile: Mineral-ly chalkiness on the nose with notes of toast and delicate red apple.

Tasting Notes: A very precise and sharp champagne! Deep, delicious, chalky minerality with lovely, bright acidity. The main flavor notes include raspberry, red apples, lemon, cinnamon spice, and toasted nuts.

DRINK THIS IF: you like a clean, dry, elegant, “classic” champagne flavor profile and are looking for something to pair with moules frites {mussels with fries} or buttery, smoky chargrilled oysters

Pol Roger “Pure” Extra Brut NV–$65.00

Pol Roger Pure Extra BrutThis is a no dosage {if you’re unfamiliar with the term “dosage” check out my blog post with the definition here} champagne that been on the market since 2008. That means it is bone dry in terms of the level of sweetness. So seeing words like “zéro dosage,” “non-dosage,” or “non-dosé” on the label indicates this style of champagne.

Blend: Like the Brut Reserve, it is equal parts Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, but the base wine is comprised of “riper, more floral” wines which differentiates it from the Reserve.

Aroma Profile: For me this one took a minute to open up, but once it did I got notes of delicate white flowers, grapefruit, a nuttiness {like almonds or hazelnuts}, and just a whisper of sweet honey.

Tasting Notes: Upfront taut, gripping, and vibrant acidity full of freshly zested lemon peel which was followed by anise spice, and yeasty brioche. Although quite dry, the vinification process gives this champagne a roundness and softness that balances it out and makes it a pleasure to drink.

DRINK THIS IF: you like a super dry, very refined champagne flavor profile and are looking for something to pair with grilled pork loin with green apples, a buttery Connecticut-style lobster roll, or mild and soft cheeses

Pol Roger 2009 “Blanc de Blancs”–$140.00

Pol Roger Blanc de BlancsThis is a unique Blanc de Blancs with a profile richer than the norm. Made solely from the Côte des Blancs Grand Cru villages of Oiry, Chouilly, Cramant, Avize and Oger, the champagne is aged for 7 years on the less.

Blend: 100% Chardonnay

Aroma Profile: Giving off both richly fragrant and delicate aromas at the same time, the nose shows yellow and green apple, citrus, and elegant limestone minerality on the nose.

Tasting Notes: Pummelo/grapefruit and lemon say “Hello, lover” to your tongue first, then the golden yellow apples from the nose double-dutch in followed up by pears, apricots, ripe peaches, and buttery pie pastry. It finishes with an interesting mineral-ish, slightly briny note–sort of like when your tongue comes in contact with the bottom of the shell of a freshly shucked oyster.

DRINK THIS IF: you are a white lover who likes a somewhat delicate wine and you’re looking for something to pair with white flesh fish {sole or halibut} with a lemon beurre blanc sauce or–for a slightly less conventional option–lemon pepper chicken wings

Pol Roger 2009 Vintage Blend–$100.00

Pol Roger 2009 vintageThis was actually an awesome champagne to taste immediately after the Blanc de Blancs because I was able to immediately taste the richness and sharpness that only Pinot Noir can bring to champagne. #trainyourpalate

Blend: 60% Pinot Noir + 40% Chardonnay

Aroma Profile: Sweet lemon, strawberries, floral notes {I’m thinking violets, maybe?}, and bready yeastiness–this was very pretty on the nose.

Tasting Notes: Lovely and fresh acidity and creaminess showing grapefruit, candied lemon peel, peaches, florals, and juicy red apples on the palate. It’s structured but maintains the kind of lightness that leaves your palate almost feeling refreshed after you sip it.

DRINK THIS IF: you’re a bit unconventional and like an elegant yet fun champagne that is a blend of both traditional and avant garde, and are looking for something to pair with grilled salmon, a chilled lobster salad with avocado and sundried tomatoes, chicken in a creamy mushroom sauce, or a beet and goat cheese salad with candied walnuts

Pol Roger 2009 Rosé–$120.00

Pol Roger roseI was absolutely enchanted by this rosé! Aged on the lees for more than 7 years, this rosé is rich, complex, full-bodied, and deeply satisfying.

Blend: 65% Pinot Noir {which includes 15% still wine!} and 35% Chardonnay.

Aroma Profile: Super fragrant–redolent of ripe strawberries, fresh and juicy raspberries, red roses, and citrus.

Tasting Notes: Unctuous, mouthwatering, and “chewable” {almost like the mouthfeel you get when eating a super high quality luxury fruit roll-up}, this champagne has full, lush, ripe strawberries and red fruits (red cherries, cranberries, currants} right off the bat. Add in some delicate yellow raspberries; brioche toast; chewy, mildly spicy dried ginger candy; and orange citrus. This beautiful rosé has a long, lingering, seductive finish that leaves a smile on your face long after you lips are no longer in contact with it–just like a lover’s kiss.

DRINK THIS IF: you like a sensual, lush rosé champagne and are looking for something to pair with sushi {hamachi, tuna or salmon sashimi} or even a red berry fruit tart for dessert

Pol Roger 2008 Prestige Cuvée “Sir Winston Churchill”–$300.00

Pol Roger Sir Winston ChurchillFirst off let me say that if you drink just about anything from the 2008 vintage of champagne you just cannot lose in terms of quality, as the weather conditions in 2008 were exceptional. The Sir Winston Churchill, however, is so very exceptional that it’s {arguably} called “the greatest luxury cuvée of modern times.” The first release of the champagne was in 1984.

The good news is that this vintage is so very exceptional that it can be cellared and held for several years and will maintain it’s exquisite deliciousness. The bad news is that it was so very exceptional that it is now extremely difficult to find.

Blend: This champagne is highly covetable in part because of the intriguing and somewhat mysterious methods surrounding its creation. For instance, the exact blend of the Sir Winston Churchill is a secret of the maison, but it’s believed to be comprised mostly of Pinot Noir {guesstimates are 70% or more??} and is only released in those years the Chef de Caves alone determines is worthy of creating the Cuvée.

Aroma Profile: A powerful and intense aroma envelopes your nose at first sniff with rich notes of crunchy green pear, sweet summer-ripe nectarines, toasted almonds, fresh-from-the-oven brioche, and nutmeg baking spice.

Tasting Notes: Aged for 10 years, this is a total complex and layered flavor bomb! Honeyed hazelnuts, creamy and sweet-tart lemon curd, biscuit-y scones, baked apples, stewed raspberries, kumquat, and juicy grapefruit intoxicate your tongue. It is an absolutely elegant, powerful, and downright STUN. NING champagne to drink!

DRINK THIS IF: you like exciting, bold, rich, complex, luxury champagnes created to delight your palateto no end. As for what to pair it with, who cares about food–if you’re not overcome with the desire to drink this entire bottle sans food immediately upon opening then I’m not sure we can be friends.

The only offering missing form this portfolio tasting is the Pol Roger “Rich” Demi-Sec, which is sure to delight those who like a sweeter, yet still refined, champagne.

So that’s it, y’all! And since November and December are also known as “prime champagne tastings season,” be on the lookout for many more of these Bubbleista champagne portfolio tasting wine review posts in the weeks to come!

Bon weekend!

Pol Roger Main Tasting Pol Roger Me Pol Roger Pres