Saturday, June 13, 2015

Sneak Attack

My Champagne nemesis is Pol Roger.  This house is universally regarded as one of the greats, but its wines are the ones I tend to miss seeing and understanding in tastings.  I regularly see the beauty and finesse of Taittinger, and the richness of Louis Roederer.  The slowing changing nature of Veuve Clicquot doesn’t stop me from picking up on its complexity.  And Bollinger is a stand out for its aldehydes .  But Pol Roger just doesn’t register in blind tastings, and I usually miss the point, while everyone else remarks on its beauty, depth and elegance.

The Master was in town and we hadn’t met up for “many moons” as SWMBO would say.  We received an invitation we couldn’t refuse and packed up a nice bottle of German Riesling as a gift.  But upon arriving, The Master and Maid Marion already had a nice bottle chilled and ready to go.  A 2004 Pol Roger Champagne Blanc de Blanc.  Top off and into the glass, it was redolent of soft apple juice.  A nice but unremarkable fizz, I thought at first.  Easy and unchallenging.  Exactly how Pol Roger behaves for me.  Then the sneak attack.  Nuances of flowers, citrus and stonefruit growing in richness, building in depth, concentration and core.  Bread, yeast, nuts all chiming in.  Wonderfully refined textures.  Yet lightness on its feet.  My glass disappeared quickly.  The Master just as quick to top it up.  Soon the bottle was gone, as we righted the world…