Philipponnat, Royal Brut Reserve
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Grape VarietyPinot Noir/Chardonnay
StyleFull Bodied & Rich
Vintage champagne is by definition the wine of a single year and it must rely on the success of that harvest alone. Vintage champagne is therefore produced only when all the necessary components of climate, grape quality and ripeness at harvest come together for the winemaker to produce a wine of optimum intensity, structure and balance. The growing season of 1999 was marked by exceptional warmth and rain, with some heavy hail in May which devastated the vines in some communes. Growth was vigorous, necessitating some green pruning. The grapes were in good condition at harvest time which opened on 19th September and closed 1st October. Fortunately the heavy rain which fell at times during this period did not spoil a record harvest (19,000 kg/ha) with a good maturity (9.9% vol). Made in limited quantity, the 1999 Brut Vintage follows the traditional Pol Roger formula of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay from up to 20 Grand and Premier Cru vineyards in the Montagne de Reims, the Grand Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs. The musts underwent 2 cold settlings before fermentation in stainless steel to preserve the fruit characteristics of the wine. The wine was then blended and transferred to bottle for its second fermentation and aging in the cellars. Intense gold with persistent fine mousse. The nose opens with floral rose notes and warms to toasted brioche. The mouth is full and fresh with spicy floral notes (wallflower or nasturtium), underpinned with candied yellow fruit. The finish is long and dry. This is a classy mid-term vintage from Pol Roger that will continue to improve for at least 5 years in bottle and in magnum for 10-12 years. Typically this has the power to match fine dining and would work well with lobster or other crustaceans as well as rich or pungent or spicy dishes.