The Brut Réserve is pale golden in colour with aromas of white flowers, green apple, brioche and a trace of minerality. On the palate there are notes of stone fruits, a certain nuttiness and a hint of honey supporting the freshness of the acidity. UK stock receives an additional six months post-disgorgement ageing so it is ready to drink upon release but cellaring for a few years will reveal greater depths.
Pol Roger Brut Réserve is blended from 30 still base wines from different vineyards, different vintages and the three main grape varieties which dominate the champagne region: Pinot Noir contributes body, depth of character and life-extending tannins and comes from the villages of the Montagne de Reims – Verzy, Verzenay, Mailly, Ambonnay, Mardeuil and Louvois; Chardonnay provides the lightness, elegance and finesse and is drawn from Epernay itself and the villages of the Côte des Blancs – Cuis, Oiry, Oger, Vertus, Moussy and Chouilly; Meunier supplies youthful freshness, vigour and plump character with the grapes coming from the Vallée d’Epernay – Vincelles, Venteuil, Troissy, Damery, Vandières, Brugny, Chavot, Monthelon and Pierry.
The Brut Réserve is made from both the cuvée (the free-run juice and the first, light pressing) and if necessary, the taille (second pressing) which provides a higher proportion of essential tannins and structure. After pressing, the juice is left to settle at 8°C, before fermentation in temperature-controlled containers. No oak is used. The wine is blended, bottled and transferred to the cellars to undergo the secondary fermentation and a period of lees ageing. The wines are hand-riddled, by a team of four ‘remueurs’ (‘riddlers’, who riddle a total of 60,000 bottles per day between them!) to allow the sediment to settle fully. Dosage is 12g/l. The wine is a blend of between two and four vintages, but is not released until the youngest component is a minumum of three years old.
Champagne Pol Roger was founded in 1849 and now owns 87 hectares of vineyards on prime sites in the Vallée d’Epernay and the Côte des Blancs. Its cellars run for 7km and are on three levels, the deepest known as the ‘cave de prise de mousse’ at 33m below ground. As the name suggests, this is where the wine undergoes secondary fermentation in bottle. The fact that this deep cellar is at 9°C or less, rather than a normal cellar temperature of 11-12°C, prolongs the fermentation and is a contributing factor to the quality and particular style of the wines and their famously fine bubbles.