When two “Kings” meet!

At Caroline’s Fine Wine Cellar in Cape Town I presented a tasting on the Houses of Champagne Pol-Roger and that of Champagne Taittinger last night. Two definitive house styles with a beautiful golden thread through the Non Vintage, vintage and their Prestige Cuvees. Three flight of wines were tasted:

  • Pol-Roger Brut Reserve NV – 35% Pinot Noir, 35% Pinot Meunier & 30% Chardonnay with 20 to 30% reserve wine. Nice floral notes with hints of red berry fruit on the nose. It opens on the palate with nice rich creamy texture with hints of acacia and honey. Good depth of flavour from the Pinot’s with a refreshing touch from the Chardonnay.   
  •  Taittinger Brut Reserve NV – 40% Chardonnay, 305 Pinot Noir & 30% Pinot Meunier with up to 20% reserve wine. pale straw colour with consistent and fine mousse. Nose is light and delicate with hints of biscuit and brioche. The palate is lean, but has a considerable depth and elegance with a long mineral finish.
  • Pol-Roger Brut Vintage 1999 – 60% Pinot Noir & 40% Chardonnay – Bright, intensely golden hue, with lots of fine bubbles. On the nose the is hints of rose petals with attractive sweetness and freshness. Great toasty notes with nougat and almond flavour. Great intensity on the palate with candied fruit with some quince and marzipan. Good length and lingering flavours.
  • Taitinger Brut Vintage 2002 – 50% Chardonnay & 50% Pinot Noir – Golden straw hue with slight mineral notes to start. Firts impression on the palate is full-bodied. The mid-palate is rich, well-rounded and supple with a wide range of white and yellow fruits. Great length with lots of elegance. Will go very well with white meats in a creamy sauce.
  • Pol-Roger Sir Winston Churchill Brut Millesime 1998 – 60% Pinot Noir & 40% Chardonnay (exact blend closely guarded by the family and only Grand Cru selected) – a legend in its own right and developed after the liberation of Paris and especially for the British Prime Minister, then, Winston Churchill. a colour of brilliant lime green with hints of yellow with extremely delicate fine mousse of tiny bubbles. Bouquet is a real melange of flavour in layers with opening notes of classic strawberry and some forest floor. the nose also reveals notes of fresh citrus and a touch of mint. There is nice nutty aromatics as the wine enters the palate and a fine balance between fruit components and the acidity. Great length and texture with one long finish, reminiscent of a lingering complexity of a classic red wine.
  • Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 1998 – 100% Chardonnay – 100% Grand Cru vineyards – Aged minimum 5 years on the lees. It has always been one of my most aspirational Champagne ever and still remains in this way. WOW! Pale yellow straw in colour with silvery youthful glints and exceptionally fine and abundant bubbles are lively and ever lasting. Classic mineral aromas on the nose with delicate fragrance of white blossom with subtle hints of fresh almonds and vanilla. The first impression on the palate is freshness with dominant flavours of citrus fruits, lemon zest and grapefruit. on the palate remarkable finesse with great brioche notes with biscuit and nutty flavours. Intense yet elegant make it a truly remarkable Champagne!

Truly and remarkable and will be remembered for a long while.

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