Some days I love my profession more than other days! I just got offered a bottle of 1921 Pol Roger ‘Brut’ (Disgorged 1977) …
This Friday night at The Champagne Bar by Richard Juhlin mr RJ passed his 9 000 tasting note!
August Strindberg and his bohemic friends discussed politics and poetry all day long in this dining room, which is named from his book, Röda Rummet. The book was published in 1879. Richard & Björnstierne was invited to lunch @ Röda Rummet – Berns Asiatiska by Fabrice Rosset, CEO of Champagne Deutz to taste 5 new releases on the Swedish market.
nv DEUTZ ‘BRUT CLASSIC’ | Aÿ | 38PN 32PM 30CH | SBnr 7487 | 380 SEK | TASTINGNOTE ‘The Champagne is always of a high quality, but has previously been sold too early. If you put the wine aside for a few years in the cellar, a fine, bready note will develop, which will tone down the exaggerated apple-like fruit. I tasted a couple of bottles at the beginning of 2001 that already had a classic maturity. Very good, exuberant, and complex at the moment. I hope this tendency continues.’ RJpoints 76(84)
1995 DEUTZ ‘MILLIÉSIME VINOTHÈQUE’ | Aÿ | 60PN 10PM 30CH | 1 349 SEK | Swedish allocation 36 bottles | TASTINGNOTE ‘It feels like Deutz vintage wine has finally found its true self. Classic, irresistible style, without forgetting its past. Everything is in its place in a totally satisfying way. Mature Pinot Noir and sublime, crispy fruit in lovely harmony.’ RJpoints 96(96)
1995 DEUTZ ‘BLANC de BLANCS VINOTHÈQUE’ | 100CH | 1 349 SEK | Swedish allocation 48 bottles | TASTINGNOTE ‘40% Le Mesnil-sûr-Oger, 50% Avize & 10% Villers Marmery. Fantastic and indeed somewhat oilier than the usual issue. I suppose that the autolytic character will give this wine an amazing base for acceleration a little further on in the future.’ RJpoints 96(96)
2002 DEUTZ ‘CUVÉE WILLIAM DEUTZ’ | 62PN 11PM 27CH | 1 100 SEK | Swedish allocation 360 bottles | TASTINGNOTE ‘Pinot Noir: 62%, from vineyards in Ay, Mareuil-sûr-Aÿ, Bouzy, Louvois and Ambonnay. Chardonnay: 27%, from vineyards in Avize, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, with a small proportion from the Montagne de Reims. Pinot Meunier: 11% from vineyards in Pierry and Chatillon-sur-Marne. Golden hue with crystal glints. Extremely fine bubbles. Delicate, rich and complex on the nose, developing floral and cooked white peach aromas, underpinned by lovely honey-sweet notes of spice and candied ginger. Well defined and clean on entry. Captivating, rich and full on the palate, the champagne releases a mélange of delicate cherry, wild peach and honey aromas. Its fine, harmonious balance shows promise. The finish is silky, complex and refined, with long lingering aromas.’ RJpoints 90(95)
2007 DEUTZ ‘MILLÉSIME’ | 65PN 5PM 30CH | 499 SEK | Swedish allocation 1 200 bottles | TASTINGNOTE ‘Pinot Noir: about 65%, from the terroirs of Bouzy, Mareuil-sûr-Aÿ, Verzenay, Aÿ and Ambonnay. Chardonnay: about 30%, from the terroirs of Avize and Villers-Marmery. Pinot Meunier: about 5%, from Binson-et-Orquigny. Soft pleasing vanilla-scented and cacao-orienterad aroma and a soft fruit and bread dominated taste for relatively early consumption.’ RJpoints 82(85)
2009 DEUTZ ‘ROSÉ MILLÉSIME’ | 80PN 10CH | 499SEK | Swedish allocation 360 bottles | TASTINGNOTE ‘The vineyards, or crus, that supply the Pinot Noir are a gage of its qualities: Aÿ, Mareuil-sûr-Aÿ, Bouzy and Verzenay. They epitomise the subtle and yet powerful qualities of the finest pinot noirs in Champagne. The style of this wine and its colour owe a lot to the incorporation into the blend of 8% red wine made by Deutz from a plot of old vines on the hillside at Aÿ – a plot known as « La Pelle » – and other specific plots at Mareuil-sur-Aÿ: « Cumaine » and « Charmont ». Tasted together with the worlds most expensive (!) caviar, the arctic char caviar – Northern Light Spirit at about €25 000 per kilo. The wine felt slightly dryer and and firmer then usual. The nose is very much Aÿ and has great potential, with the slightly heavy charachter of the vintage.’ RJpoints 83(88)
Champagne Deutz also launched a world premier – 2006 DEUTZ ‘AMOUR de DEUTZ ROSÉ’ | 65PN 35CH | aprox 1 500 SEK | TASTINGNOTE ‘Fabrice Rosset has long wanted to profile of William Deutz Rosé from a gastronomically burgundy influenced wine into something sleeker and more modern. Unfortunately, I’m not entirely convinced that the style change was necessary, although I obviously understand and respect the decision. The bottle is incredibly beautiful, cool and elegant as a Greta Garbo in black and white. The purity and minerality sharpness is surgically precise, but the intensity and the fruit is a little too toned down this time. More like a dry Belle Epoque than William Deutz at present.’ RJpoints 86(92)
RJ ON DEUTZ Two Germans, William Deutz and Pierre Gelderman, founded this prestigious firm in 1838 in Ay. Deutz was hit hard during the champagne uprising in 1911. For a long time the house was run by André Lallier, who made large investments in other wine regions. These include properties in the Rhone Valley, Maison Deutz in California and another sparkling wine from the Loire Valley. 1993 Louis Roederer acquired majority of Deutz. Today the firm is run proficiently by the sympathetic Fabrice Rosset. Winemaker Michel Davesne. 75% of the grapes are sourced from Grand- and premier cru plots. Deutz owns land in five villages. The property is among the most beautiful in Champagne and wines are also very distinguished. The style is laid-back, elegant and sophisticated with a medium full body and crystal clear fruit as well as an exemplary mousse. All wines are good, but Cuvée William Deutz Rosé is something special. Even the Vinothèque-wines and the white edition of William Deutz is world class. Deutz has launched an ultra sophisticated prestige champagne under the name Amour de Deutz selling like hotcakes since Madonna took it to heart. One of my real favorites!
Bus left and took us to Winston Churchill´s favorite Champagne Pol Roger. we had a visit and lunch at Champagne Pol Roger with president Laurent D´Harcourt and some amazing rarities.
RJ ON POL ROGER The foremost ambassador for Champagne, Christian Pol-Roger, has unfortunately retired from the scene. Nowadays the firm is run by Christian de Billy’s son Hubert. He was very doubtful for a long time as to whether or not he should dedicate his life to the family firm, but feels completely at peace now that the choice has finally been made. Winston Churchill’s favourite domain was established in 1849 by Pol Roger, who was succeeded by his sons, Maurice and Georges.
At the turn of the century the Roger family changed its name to Pol-Roger. Maurice was the mayor of Épernay during the week-long occupation of the town by the Germans in September 1914. Despite German threats to shoot him and burn down the town, he remained defiant and was later hailed almost as a saint in the town. He was voted honorary mayor for life. England has always been the main export market for Pol Roger, and when the wartime prime minister Sir Winston Churchill died the label of the Champagne was black-edged in memory. After a suitable period of mourning, the 1975 Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill was launched, in magnums only. The wine is made in a style they believe Sir Winston would have appreciated. His favorite vintages were 1928, 1934, and 1947.
TODAY Nowadays the firm owns eighty-five hectares of vineyards, most of them close to Épernay: Mardeuil, Chouilly, Pierry, Moussy, Chavot, Cuis, Cramant, and Grauves. They meet 45 per cent of the firm’s needs, and the rest is taken from Pinot villages to give the wine backbone. Pol Roger’s vinification is quite normal, which leads me to the conclusion that the secret lies in the quality of the grapes and, above all, in the skill in assembling the cuvées. The wines are medium-bodied, with a lovely fruit balance and perfect dosage. The mousse is exemplary, with smaller bubbles than usual because of a cellar temperature half a degreee below the average.
Pol Roger had more wines and more older wines in the Millennium Tasting than almost any other Champagne domain, which is completely natural because Pol Roger’s champagnes are extremely high class and are so long-lived. They are normally most famous for their Pinot-dominated cuvées today made by Dominique Petit, but at Villa Pauli they were rewarded for the best blanc de blancs ever made, with their powerful 1959. My only 100-pointer is a blanc de blancs from Pol Roger. I love the entire range of the firm’s products, from the regular non-vintage all the way to the Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill, and I guarantee you that every sound bottle you drink will impart a life-enhancing experience of pure joy. Just at present the best bargain is the 2000 Blanc de Chardonnay if you can wait at least two more years after release. The wines from the 2002 vintage are destined for the cellar.
APÉRITIF IN THE GARDEN | 2004 POL ROGER ‘BLANC de BLANCS’ | Epernay | Champagne | France | 100CH | RJ 87(92)
TASTING NOTE It’s a bit early to predict whether this will be a bestseller or just a very nice Champagne. Anyway, we again have to do with a classic Pol Roger Blanc de Blancs with strong mineral character and lemon overtones. The roundness verify that we have to wait for a while.
1988 POL ROGER ‘BLANC de CHARDONNAY’ | Epernay | Champagne | France | 100CH | RJ 94(96)
TASTING NOTE This label is very consistent through the years. Already from the start, the ’88 was charming, and distinguished with a faint note of citrus and a soft aftertaste. Delightfully complex bouquet, with a nutty tone and classic purity developed in the beginning of the twenty-first century and by 2003 the wine had broken all barriers. Now it’s sensationally voluptuous and rich, with a Comtes-like exotic mint-toffee sweetness and layers of butter toffee and fat Chardonnay.
1999 POL ROGER ‘CUVÉE SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL VINOTHÈQUE’ by magnum | Epernay | Champagne | France | secret blend | RJ 91(93)
TASTING NOTE Young and immature directly after degorgement. A bit closed at that time, but nothing that makes me think of anything but a very good future. As I expected early, harmony appered when I tasted it again at the beginning of 2012. Very nice on jeroboam and magnum.
1993 POL ROGER ‘MILLÉSIME VINOTHÈQUE’ by magnum | Epernay | Champagne | France | 60PN 40CH | RJ 92(92)
TASTING NOTE A wine that was surprisingly similar to the fruity and charming nonvintage Champagne when it was released on the market. In a very short time the character has gained depth—we are already dealing with a classic but as-yet light and rapidly maturing Pol Roger. To be drunk in great, refreshing gulps. Because the house-style is intact, it will surely mature handsomely. No great depth, but still a good piece of work.
1996 POL ROGER ‘ROSÉ VINOTHÈQUE’ | Epernay | Champagne | France | 65PN 35CH | RJ 92(96)
TASTING NOTE This issue of this wine follows the trend of recent years’ rosé wines, which is somewhat lighter, more floral and simultaneously creamier than previous vintages. Gorgeously, romantically summery just at present.
2006 POL ROGER ‘ROSÉ’ | Epernay | Champagne | France | 65PN 35CH | RJ 84(87)
TASTING NOTE Clearly better than the alarming weakness in 2004. Pure fine fruit, but still somewhat neutral in style and now the rosé from PR is always the only vintage wine from Pol Roger, I do not acquire my own winecellar.
|15 champagne lovers | 6 champagnes | 5 vintages | 75 glasses | 4 dishes|