We tasted: Pol Roger Brut 2009

tasting in December 2019, Madrid, Spain

Pol Roger, after 160 years of history and 5 generations, is one of the very few champagne houses still family owned. Their business wasn’t all the time easy but, generation after generation, the Pol-Rogers proved resilience, tenacity and determination in building the famous champagne house which is Pol Roger now. It all started in 1849, when Pol Roger, the 18 y.o. son of a lawyer from Aÿ, established the champagne house (in Épernay since 1851) and eventually made his first growths released in 1853. His success was sparkling and he received an imperial and royal warrant for the Austro-Hungarian court. After Pol Roger’s death in 1899, due to a pneumonia, the champagne house was taken over by his sons, Maurice and Georges Roger. The two brothers’ determination enabled the house to overcome a catastrophe, when in February 1900, the cellars collapsed (five hundred casks and one and a half million bottles were lost).

Exports progressed and many crowned heads became customers of the brand. The top restaurants on the Champs-Elysées, including the famous Ledoyen, were serving Pol Roger, but the First World War was to bring this expansion to a halt. Maurice, who was also the city mayor of Épernay, made huge efforts to keep the city functioning while almost all of the officials and civil servants (including the regional governor, police, fire chiefs etc.) had left because of the German invaders approaching the city, taking with them all the municipality’s funds. The Germans didn’t make it easy to Maurice, and he saw himself, in several occasions, almost executed. He also had to pay huge fines and used his own money to cover the city’s expenses.

After the war, the champagne house evolution was influenced by the Prohibition in USA, the Russian Bolshevik Revolution, the 1929 Crisis, and the Second World War (when during the German occupation, the champagne production was controlled by the Nazis). Only the Pol-Roger family’s stoicism made the champagne house resist and now it is one of the most important and emblematic wine businesses in the world, member of the very exclusivist club of worldwide wine producers, Primum Familiae Vini (association of family-owned wineries with a membership limited to twelve families). Pol Roger also holds the current Royal Warrant as purveyors of champagne to Queen Elizabeth II.

Talking about the Brut Vintage 2009, this was a nice interpretation of the harmony that one can find in an excellent champagne cuvée. The great balance of this cuvée, between freshness and maturity, is the key to crave for more and more, sip after sip. On the nose we found fine notes of white flowers, yellow apples, honey and vanilla. The taste is elegant, classic yet vibrant, mixing its graceful flavours of peach, pear, brioche and creamy milk with strong persistent minerality and powerful wine structure. Refined aftertaste, lovely fine bubbles. We recommend this cuvée alongside seafood dishes.

CLB score

91

*take a look at our CLB scoring

Type of champagneBrut
Vintage2009
Grapes60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay
MaisonPol Roger
Village/terroir20 vineyards from Montagne de Reims and Côte des Blancs
Degorgement2018
Aged8 years on lies (at 33meters underground)
Dosage7g/L
Sizebottle (75cl)
Number of bottlesN/A
Price range (euro)60-70
Chef de Caves Dominique Petit (1999-2018), Damien Cambres (>2018)
Other considerentsremuage 100% à la main

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