Pol Roger Brut Rosé 2012
Champagne’s geographical location engenders unpredictable weather. For this reason, since their foundation in 1849 Pol Roger has observed the tradition of not releasing a vintage-dated Champagne unless the climatic conditions permit the production of grapes of outstanding ripeness. A vintage Champagne must, above all else, be a balanced Champagne. This balance depends on the right blend of healthy grapes, a good potential alcohol and correct acidity. The first criterion for declaring a vintage wine is its capacity to age. Devotees who have the patience to age their Champagnes are rewarded with a more complex and richer wine.
The Story of the Vintage
Winter was mild and dry, however there was a cold snap at the beginning of February. Following cool and rainy weather in early spring, unseasonal warm weather prevailed in late March, favouring an advanced budbreak. Hot, sunny weather from late July through to the first days of September ensured that the grapes reached an ideal maturity. The yields were low, but the grapes were in excellent health. Harvesting lasted from 10th to 26th September. The 2012 crop showed a potential average alcohol content of 10.6% and a total acidity of 7.8g/L H2SO4.
- Cépage (Pinot Noir) 50% 50%
- Cépage (Chardonnay) 35% 35%
- Cépage (Pinot Noir Vinified En Rouge) 15% 15%
- Dosage (8g/L) 8% 8%
Vinification and Maturation
The must undergoes two débourbages (settlings), one at the press house immediately after pressing and the second, a débourbage à froid, in stainless steel tanks at 6°C over a 24 hour period. A slow cool fermentation with the temperature kept under 18ºC takes place in stainless steel, with each variety and each village kept separate until final blending. The wine undergoes a full malolactic fermentation. Secondary fermentation takes place in bottle at 9ºC in the deepest Pol Roger cellars (33 metres below street level) where the wine is kept until it undergoes remuage (riddling) by hand, a rarity in Champagne nowadays. The Rosé is aged for a minimum of six years in the cellars, plus an additional six months for the UK market. The very fine and persistent mousse for which Pol Roger is renowned owes much to these deep, cool and damp cellars.
Pol Roger does not make a non-vintage Rosé, preferring to release only in vintage years. The Brut Rosé Vintage 2012 is produced from a blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay drawn from some 20 Premier and Grands crus on the Montagne de Reims and the Côte des Blancs. In order to obtain its delicate colour and subtle nose 15% Pinot Noir, from selected vineyards in Bouzy, Ambonnay and Cumieres, is vinified “en rouge” and added to the blend prior to the second fermentation.
A pale raspberry colour with fine copper glints. The nose is opulent and well structured, with red berries and a rich spicy depth. A taut palate, with a refreshing backbone of acidity, rounds out to a sensation of bursting redcurrants. The finish is lively and impressively long. Savour now for freshness or keep for many years to come for a richer and more opulent wine.