In a nutshell: A full, rich but nicely fresh Grande Marque Champagne from the famous house of Pol Roger
The lowdown: Pol Roger are not one of the bigger Champagne houses, but their claim to fame is their being the preferred tipple of Sir Winston Churchill, after whom they later named one of the cuvées. This, the Brut Réserve, is their flagship cuvée and definitive house style. It's made from roughly equal proportions of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay drawn from base wine of at least 3 vintages. It's got a pale straw colour and the nose is dominated by white flowers, green apple, brioche and a trace of minerality. The palate has notes of stone fruits, a certain nuttiness and a hint of honey supporting the freshness of the acidity.
When to drink: With its harmonius flavours it makes the perfect aperitif and ideal partner to canapes.
One of the well known Champagne houses Pol Roger, which is still run by descendants of the founder, began life in 1849 and is based in the town of Épernay. In the twentieth century it found fame after becoming know as the favourite Champagne of Sir Winston Churchill in whose honour the Pinot Noir dominant Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill was created in 1984. One of the smaller Grande Marques they, nevertheless, are always rated highly in terms of quality. The de Billy family who are the direct descendants of Pol Roger continue to manage the business while Damien Cambres is currently cellar master having succeeded Dominique Petit in April 2018.