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The Rose & Crown Hotel
Le Huret, Alderney
UK Channel Islands

Delivery on Alderney is free :-) we deliver Monday to Saturday between 10am and 1pm. Please note that we cannot deliver off-island.

Pol Roger

What it Tastes Like

'Fresh, floral and elegant on release, when the Meunier dominates, White Foil deepens and develops dried fruit complexity after two years when the Pinot Noir takes over.' - Decanter Magazine


Pol Roger has been trading in the U.K. through agents since the middle of the nineteenth century, and was established in 1990 as a majority-owned subsidiary of Pol Roger et Cie, of Epernay, France. Pol Roger et Cie is one of the very few remaining Houses in Champagne still owned and run by the family, who are personally responsible for the winemaking and selection of cuvées each year.

Pol Roger was born on 24th December 1831, the first son of Pierre Charles Jean-Baptiste Roger, a lawyer based in Ay. Pol chose not to follow in his father's footsteps, but received his support when he showed a determined interest in the wine trade. Pol set up in Ay as a négociant or wholesaler at the age of seventeen, drawing initial business from his family's contacts and clients of his father.

The following year, 1849, saw the birth of the new champagne house as Pol Roger began to create his own cuvées (for release from 1853) rather than bring in wines solely from other houses.

His sales for the first six months of operation were 3,769 bottles and 825 half-bottles. Today that has grown to around 1.5 million per annum.

Establishing the brand 1849 - 1899

- Historical events for Pol Roger champagnes in England began in the second half of the nineteenth century, which saw rapid development of the business, in what was a golden era for champagne.

- In 1876 Conrad Reuss of Reuss, Lauteren and Co. of Crutched Friars, Mark Lane in the city of London was appointed as the first U.K. agent for Pol Roger, selling in to the top end of the hotel trade, prestigious clubs - and the following year to the Royal Household.

- In 1880 the first advertisement for the Pol Roger brand in the U.K. appeared in the Album of Taste and Fashion.

- By 1882 the brand was established. ''We dined at the Café Royal, and were positively amazed at the consumption of your brand at nearly every table, where there was a bottle, a magnum and in some instances two bottles at each table.''

- In 1887 Maurice Pol-Roger, son of Pol, paid his first visit to England to learn the business here, starting a close relationship between the family and this country that has been maintained ever since.

- In 1888 HRH The Prince of Wales and Prime Minister Gladstone were amongst those enjoying the pleasures of Pol Roger champagne.

- In 1892 Pol Roger first appeared on the wine list at The Savoy hotel, where it remains to this day.

The second generation 1900 - 1913

- On the death of Pol Roger, his two sons, Maurice and Georges took over stewardship of the company.

- In 1900, following the collapse of a major part of the cellars in Epernay, and the loss of 1.5 million bottles, much of it reserved for England, other champagne houses and agents rallied round to support Pol Roger and help the company maintain its export business.

- In 1903, the 1892 cuvée launched the America's Challenge Cup Yacht Shamrock III.

- By 1911, the English agency had 500 customers, including Harrods.

- 1908 saw Winston Churchill, then in the Cabinet as President of the Board of Trade, become a customer for the first time, beginning a lifelong association with the brand.

- The Royal Warrant was awarded to Pol Roger in 1911. Pol Roger was served at the Guildhall luncheon held on George V's Coronation Day, 30th June.

The First World War 1914 - 1918

- During the First World War hostilities affected Epernay (occupied by the Germans during the month of September 1914) and champagne production and exporting, since the front line remained just over 20 miles away for most of this period.

Between the wars

- In the post-war era, sales of champagne in England only picked up slowly, but were strong again by 1923 due to the outstanding 1914 vintage released that year.

- In 1934, Pol Roger et Cie opened their new cellars at 34 Avenue de Champagne, still a landmark building in the town. In the same year King George V held a reception for 800 guests on the occasion of the marriage of his son the Duke of Kent to Princess Louise, serving Pol Roger.

The Second World War 1939 - 1945

- Germany's invasion of France in May 1940 and aerial attacks on Epernay led to the suspension of shipments to England. Nothing was heard from the Pol-Roger family until France was liberated in 1944.

The Post-War Years 1946 - 1959

- The post-war years saw only a gradual restoration of exports to England as military and domestic market requirements in France restricted supply.

- In the 1950s, the poor harvest of 1951 and the growth of local co-operatives led to the Pol-Roger family purchasing vineyards and developing existing land to control a fully-owned area of 85 hectares to produce nearly 50 percent of their grapes and thus assure quality and supply.

- In 1955 the introduction of 'White Foil' non-vintage champagne helped to rebuild sales in England. An agent was employed in Scotland, Dick Yorke, who became the brand's ambassador there.

Modern Times 1960 - 2000

- In 1966 the English agency arrangements changed, with the purchase of the Reuss business by H.P Bulmer. Family members Christian de Billy and Christian Pol-Roger, then in charge of exports, visited Bulmers and approved the new arrangements for the brand.

- In the 1970s worldwide sales of champagne topped 100 million bottles for the first time, but fluctuating harvests and the oil crisis of 1974 affected sales dramatically.

- The beginnings of the 1980s saw two poor vintages and very high grape prices, and a second energy crisis. By the middle of the decade, with a high proportion of wholly-owned vineyards, sales recovered, and the ''Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill'' was launched in June 1984.

- Following three excellent vintages, in 1989 the opportunity came to change the company's sales representation in Great Britain, and Bill Gunn M.W., who had been responsible for the brand at Dent and Reuss, was appointed in 1990 Managing Director of a new company, majority-owned by Pol Roger in the U.K. - Pol Roger Limited, with offices in Ledbury.

- The company progressively takes on the English agencies for a number of independent wine companies from around the world - predominantly family-owned businesses producing premium wines.

- In 1993 Pol Roger Limited assumes the agency for Scotland from R.M.R. Yorke and Co.

- Pol Roger Limited moves to Hereford, its present location, in 1998.

reproduced without permission

External Links


Pol Roger Brut NV

Brut Reserve is fine and elegant with a certain character thanks to the technique of cold settling. This method, which is the most natural one, makes it possible to develop the most sensitive floral aromas. The result is a Champagne of fine richness, full-bodied as a result of the Pinot Noir and smooth and light thanks to the Chardonnay. Elegant with a fine mousse. [read on...]


A B V: 12% Vintage: non-vintag Color: unspecifie Country: France Region: Champagne Code: 34770

Pol Roger Cuvee Winston Churchill 98

Pol Roger is inexplicably linked to Sir Winston Churchill. He was captivated by Odette Pol Roger's wit, charm and intelligence in November 1944 when he met her at a British Embassy luncheon. When Churchill died in 1965 Pol Roger placed a black border around the label of the White Foil shipped to England and in 1984 the firm launched CuvSir Winston Churchill one of the best cuvèes in modern times and is the greatest champagnes available today. At first the nose is overt and generous with hints of tobacco, fresh butter and nuts. As it evolves the wines strong personality asserts itself. The initial freshness gives way to an impression Food of power and vigour with heady notes of violet, liquorice, wood,l. [read on...]


A B V: 12.5% Vintage: 1998 Color: white Country: France Code: 71321

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