Awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2018 edition panel review of Vintage Champagne (see blue link below).
Pol Roger Brut 2008 - January 2018 Decanter review
Since their foundation in 1849 Pol Roger have 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.
Following some frost in December, the beginning of 2008 was marked by mild and humid weather conditions. However, by contrast, March and April were cool and rainy. Good temperatures in May rapidly boosted growth. The summer months were characterised by extremely variable weather, with storms in July, cool weather and limited sunny periods in August. The Véraison (changing of colour and onset of ripening) started in early August and by this point, the conditions in the vineyard were outstanding. September brought excellent weather, and picking started on 15th September in sunny conditions. The grapes were healthy and the sugar/acidity balance, perfect.
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 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 in the deepest Pol Roger cellars where the wine is kept until it undergoes remuage (riddling) by hand, a rarity in Champagne nowadays. The very fine and persistent mousse for which Pol Roger is renowned owes much to these deep, cool and damp cellars.
The 2008 Brut Vintage is made from the traditional house vintage blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay from 20 Grands and Premiers crus vineyards in the “Montagne de Reims” and the “Côte des Blancs”. Produced only in limited quantities the Brut Vintage 2008 has been aged for 8 years in our cellars before being disgorged and released onto the market.
There is excellent purity and refinement on the nose. Autolytic complexity, toasted bread and pastry, but also red fruits and a hint of spice. The palate shows excellent depth of fruit but also a very firm, taut acidity to complement the richness. Long and persistent finish, very well integrated dosage and built for the long-haul. More refined than the 2002 was at this stage of its development. Drink 2018 – 2040.