Pol Roger Champagne Tasting

Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 07:30 PM

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People don't realize it, but no one lives that rock and roll life 24-7. They think it's hundreds of bottles of champagne flowing and private jets and money. But there's a lot of time when you're traveling - time to think, time to be lonely. Sometimes it gets to you.

Lenny Kravitz


Thank god I'm not a rock star! But I do drink like one...Especially this month where the theme seems to be Champagne.  And guess what my favorite type of wine is…Champagne.  Scientists have just proven that Champagne is good for your brain!!  I have included the scientific evidence at the end of this e-mail. 

We are drinking Pol Roger Champagnes Thursday, October 25th here at Wine Watch with the export manager of this great house, Pierre-Samuel Reyne.  This event is will be the fourth Champagne focused tasting that we have hosted over the last seven days… Do you think we like Champagne???  Did I tell you it’s my favorite type of wine??  And that it’s good for your brain!!

We only have 12 spaces available for this tasting which includes dinner for ½ the price of a bottle of the Sir Winston Churchill!!  The fee for this event is $150 per person + tax for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.

https://www.polroger.com/image/millesime/4/brut-reserve-bouteille-web_maxi.png Image result for Pierre-Samuel Reyne, export manager pol roger
Pol Roger Champagne Tasting with Special Guest Pierre-Samuel Reyne, export manager
Thursday, October 25th

Image result for Pol Roger Brut Reserve Champagne White Foil NV

Pol Roger Brut Reserve Champagne White Foil NV
Price: $60.00       Sale $52.80

It is common knowledge that the true quality of a Champagne house is best judged by the consistency and quality of their non-vintage wine. This is where the true "house style" is defined and executed year in/ year out. Pol Roger is a firm believer in this philosophy and takes extreme pride in their "White Foil" Brut.  The "White Foil" is sourced from top quality vineyards in Montagne de Reims (Pinot Noir), Vallee de al Marne and Petite Valle d'Epernay (Pinot Meunier) and the Cote des Blancs (Chardonnay).   Pol Roger "White Foil" is traditionally a blend of equal parts Pinot Noir (body and depth), Pinot Meunier (freshness and vigorous fruit) and Chardonnay (elegance and finesse) and is sourced exclusively from juice from the "cuvee" (first pressing). The still wines are fermented in stainless steel at a cool 45°f to retain freshness. Each final blend contains a minimum of two vintages with the youngest components being a minimum of three years old. Average dosage for the "White Label" is 8g per liter.

Image result for Pol Roger Champagne Vintage Brut 2009

Pol Roger Champagne Vintage Brut 2009
Price: $142.50    Sale $125.40

The Brut Vintage 2009 from Champagne Pol Roger is made from the traditional house vintage blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay from 20 Grands and Premiers crus vineyards in the Montagne de Reims and the Côte des Blancs. Produced only in limited quantities the Brut Vintage 2009 has been aged for 8 years in our cellars before being disgorged and released onto the market.

Image result for Pol Roger Champagne Rose Brut Champagne 2008

Pol Roger Champagne Rose Brut Champagne 2008
Price: $135.00    Sale $118.80

The Pol Roger Rosé Vintage is based on our Brut Vintage (60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay) to which we add, before the bottling and second fermentation, approximately 15% of still red wine (Pinot Noir) from the best crus of the Montagne de Reims. Produced only in limited quantities, the Brut Rosé Vintage 2009 is aged 7 years in our cellars before being released onto the market.

Image result for Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill Brut Champagne 2006

Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill Brut Champagne 2006
Price: $310.50    Sale $273.24

(95 points) Made in the very best vintages, Pol Roger's white-golden colored 2006 Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill offers a very clear, precise, ripe and complex bouquet with fruity and refreshingly chalky, nutty and brioche notes. Full-bodied and complex on the palate, the 2006 is supple, round and rich but also fine, elegant, fresh and well structured. It has a harmonious yet tight, persistent and very promising finish that puts this silky textured, Pinot-dominated cuvée (the exact blend is a closely guarded family secret) on the border of fatty richness. But the mousse gives so much freshness and finesse that everything seems lifted here. Though I have very limited experience with matured Champagnes from Pol Roger and namely Churchill, I suppose the 2006 will benefit a lot from further bottle aging. But don't get me wrong: the wine is already gorgeous. Tasted June 2018, disgorged in June 2017. (SR)    (6/2018) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Image result for Pol Roger Champagne NV Rich
Pol Roger Champagne NV Rich
Price: $67.50       Sale $59.40

Launched in 2001, this cuvée does not only accompany desserts but it will rejoice the most demanding connoisseur's sweet tooth.  Half-way between sec and demi-sec (dry and semi-dry), the cuvée Rich is distinguished by its perfect harmony due to a fine balance between sugar and natural acidity.

Selection of charcuterie and cheese
Caviar Pie with American Sturgeon Roe
Oysters and Pearls – A classic from Thomas Keller’s French Laundry cookbook
Veal Saltimbocca with Pol Roger Rich Champagne Beurre Blanc

The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $150 + tax for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.  Please let us know when you make your reservation if you don’t eat fish eggs and chef Toni will be glad to make you a salad or something.

Image result for pol roger champagne
A bit about Pol Roger Champagne:

The house of Pol Roger was founded in 1849 in the most unfavorable of times; Europe was in a state of ferment stemming from the troubles surrounding the 1848 Revolution. However, M. Pol Roger, who had previously made Champagne for other firms, was a determined man and knew that he could succeed even in the worst of times.  Over the course of years, the Pol Roger firm remained small in comparison to some of the other large Champagne Houses, but the reputation for quality grew steadily greater.  Fifty years after the founding of the firm, M. Pol Roger died in 1899.  Upon his death his two sons, Maurice and Georges, took control.  Because the world so strongly identified with their father's full name, they changed the family name from Roger to Pol Roger.  Within a year of their father's death, the two brothers endured the worst disaster that has probably ever befallen a Champagne House.  The Pol Roger warehouse collapsed some sixty feet into the firm's aging cellars destroying over 1,300,000 bottles of Champagne and 500 casks of wine.  However, the firm once again prospered; and for an extended period after the First World War, Pol Roger was the leading exporter of Champagne to England.  This was an incredible accomplishment, for Pol Roger was always one of the smaller Champagne Houses - stressing quality rather than quantity.  Gradually brother Maurice assumed the leadership of the firm and became as identified with it as his father before him.  Maurice was a very popular public figure in Champagne country and served as mayor of Epernay for some twenty years.  The people of Epernay, faced by Maurice's refusal to accept re-election in 1935, conferred upon him a unique distinction - mayor for life.  Maurice ran Pol Roger for over half a century until his death in 1959.

Probably the man who did more to make the world aware of Pol Roger Champagne was Winston Churchill.  Pol Roger was the favorite Champagne of Sir Winston, and British cartoonists often depicted him drinking it on his birthday.  After the Second World War, Sir Winston named one of his racing fillies "Pol Roger".  This horse won four major races including the Black Prince Stakes on the day of the Queen's Coronation in 1953.  So closely associated was Winston Churchill with the Pol Roger firm that when Sir Winston died, a black border was added to one of the labels in memory of him.  Years later the firm paid Sir Winston a further tribute by renaming its top luxury Champagne the "Cuvée Winston Churchill".

Among connoisseurs the reputation of Pol Roger is at its zenith.  In Hugh Johnson's Modern Encyclopedia of Wine, he states flatly that Pol Roger is "...consistently regarded among the best half-dozen and a personal favorite of mine for 20 years."  This is no small praise from Johnson, the world's foremost winewriter.  Also Sheldon and Pauline Wasserman in their authoritative book, Sparkling Wine, state that Pol Roger is "among our top favorites."  Serena Sutcliffe, in her celebrated book Champagne states that Pol Roger is a: "passion shared by pockets of distinguished and knowledgeable wine lovers in all corners of the world."   Pol Roger currently owns 136 acres with an average classification rating of 93% (Champagne vineyards are classified by percentage ratings; the very top vineyards are given 100% and are called Grand Cru; those rated between 90% and 100% are called Premier Cru. Very few Champagne firms are so fortunate that the average classification rating of their vineyards is above 90%!)  The firm supplements its own production with purchases from selected vineyards throughout the strictly controlled Champagne district.  By Champagne standards, Pol Roger is small with average production about 1,400,000 bottles of which 10% (only 12,000 cases) finds its way to the United States.  In fact, of the major Champagne houses imported into the United States, Pol Roger ranks thirteenth; Moët & Chandon is number one with over 500,000 cases!  Probably double that today but this info was written by the late great Jim Turner over 20 years ago!

Scientific proof that Champagne is good for your brain



New research shows that drinking one to three glasses of champagne a week may counteract the memory loss associated with ageing, and could help delay the onset of degenerative brain disorders, such as dementia.

Scientists at the University of Reading have shown that the phenolic compounds found in champagne can improve spatial memory, which is responsible for recording information about one's environment, and storing the information for future navigation.

The compounds work by modulating signals in the hippocampus and cortex, which control memory and learning. The compounds were found to favourably alter a number of proteins linked to the effective storage of memories in the brain.  Many of these are known to be depleted with age, making memory storage less efficient, and leading to poorer memory in old age and conditions such as dementia.  Champagne slows these loses and therefore may help prevent the cognitive losses that occur during typical and atypical brain ageing.

Champagne has relatively high levels of phenolics compared to white wine, deriving predominantly from the two red grapes, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, which are used in its production along with the white grape Chardonnay.  It is these phenolic compounds which are believed to be responsible for the beneficial effects of champagne on the brain.

Professor Jeremy Spencer, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Reading, said: "These exciting results illustrate for the first time that the moderate consumption of champagne has the potential to influence cognitive functioning, such as memory.  Such observations have previously been reported with red wine, through the actions of flavonoids contained within it.

"However, our research shows that champagne, which lacks flavonoids, is also capable of influencing brain function through the actions of smaller phenolic compounds, previously thought to lack biological activity. We encourage a responsible approach to alcohol consumption, and our results suggest that a very low intake of one to two glasses a week can be effective."

Dr. David Vauzour, the researcher on the study, added: "in the near future we will be looking to translate these findings into humans.  This has been achieved successfully with other polyphenol-rich foods, such as blueberry and cocoa, and we predict similar outcomes for moderate Champagne intake on cognition in humans."  

Previous research from the University of Reading revealed that two glasses of champagne a day may be good for your heart and circulation and could reduce the risks of suffering from cardiovascular disease and stroke.
The paper is published in Antioxidants and Redox Signalling.
For all media enquiries please contact Alex Brannen 07834 006 243 or James Barr 07788 714376
Notes for editors:
The University of Reading is ranked among the top 1% of universities in the world (THE World University Rankings 2012) and is one of the UK's top research-intensive universities
The Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences is the largest University department of its kind in the UK, combining state of the art teaching facilities, clinical nutrition unit, labs and the largest pilot processing plant in the UK. The Department is internationally recognised for the quality of its research and enjoys a high public profile both domestically and internationally.

The department continues to work with the food industry over a wide range of industrially funded research projects and contracts under our Food Chain and Health research theme. This includes one-to-one funding from multi-national companies through to small and medium sized enterprises.



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