Jonathan Ray Jonathan Ray

Our lunch with Pol Roger

We had a full house in the boardroom last Friday with James Simpson MW, managing director of Pol Roger (UK), in the chair for the latest in our series of Spectator Winemaker’s Lunches. Oh, and by the way and quite coincidentally, our current Wine Club offer with Private Cellar is a Pol Roger offer, so do head there if you haven’t already done so.

We kicked things off with the Pol Roger Brut Réserve NV, formerly known as the ‘White Foil’ because of its, er, distinctive white foil. Blended from one third Chardonnay, one third Pinot Noir and one third Pinot Meunier, it really is a fabulous champagne – creamy, toasty and honeysuckle-fresh – and is much loved at the Spectator where no party is complete without it.

With the first course we had a brace of vintages – the 2004 and the 2006. Both are in great form at the moment (the 2006 in is said offer) and yet both are so different despite being identical blends of 60 per cent Pinot Noir and 40 per cent of Chardonnay. Both have that lovely weighty fruit one expects from Pol vintages and that vibrant freshness and both are delicately honeyed with baked brioche and toast but where the 2004 has citrus notes and even a faint hint of spice, the 2006 appears more savoury and with a touch more baked apple. Whatever the differences, both are gorgeous and matched our Forman & Field smoked salmon perfectly.

With our main course we had two reds in the Pol portfolio, the sublime 2012 Joseph Drouhin Chambolle Musigny – remarkably scented with rich ripe damson and black cherry fruit and the softest and silkiest of tannins – and the 2010 Robert Sinskey Los Carneros Pinot Noir from California – raspberry-ripe and juicily fresh with a long savoury finish.

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