Pol Gessner is a sub-brand champagne made by a big plonk company called Maison Burtin (Part of the Lanson Group). This “house” within Lanson BCC doesn’t actually sell bubbly-plonk under its own name, instead using around a number of French-enough sounding names as chosen by its many buyers (one of which is Woolworths). All of the brands are mixed differently to each other however, so it’s not some wholesale slap-a-French-label-on-generic-champagne operation.
By all means, Pol Gessner is still a proper champagne; the grapes are grown in Champagne and its production follows all the fancy laws. Its no-substance branding lacks romanticism and prestige, but by the same token, it’s not stocked and marketed as if it has any. Indeed, once you rip the scab off (peel away the foil capsule concealing the cork) you are greeted by a big, ugly unbranded cage top (muselet cap) – a solid sign of its generic production heritage in a world of snobby, premium brands.
From: Epernay, Champagne, France
Cost & Source: ~$37 a bottle Champers available from Dan Murphy or BWS
Blend Ratio: Pinot Noir/Chardonnay/Pinot Meunier:(55/15/35)*
Disgorged: 2015 (Approx.)
Sipped: Mid-June 2016
* Ratios change from year to year
In The Glass:
Look: Pol Gessner has a soft and pale golden hue.
Smell: Sweet, tropical fruit (Passionfruit, Pineapple) & floral.
Taste: Pol Gessner starts sweet on the first sip with sweet tropical fruit, lime and apple flavours. The rate of bubbles is quite high with quite a large size and decent tingle, but in champagne terms that’s not necessarily a good thing.
Once it settles in the notable flavours are sour granny smith apples and grapefruit. In French wine speak Brut = Dry, so once you get a good amount in, it washes your taste buds out in dry and tart sensations, kind of like if you stuck a slab of grapefruit in your mouth. The acidic sensation then stays on and on like an internal processes meeting…
Don’t get too hasty on a top up sip if you liked the first, sweet greeting you received; you won’t get one. Instead, the acid flavour intensifies and behaves just like the aforementioned meeting; going on for ages and making you feel a little discomfort.
You’re best to eat a little savoury something to break up the acid assault.
Notes: The six bottle boxes for this champagne are also quite generic in appearance. Plain white, no branding, just “Champagne” plastered all over it.
At Parties: Being generic means that Pol Gessner is not meant to be flashy party plonk out on display, though as a private BYO stash it would be okay.
As a Gift: For the same reasons as above, I do not recommend it as a great gift – spend a little more and find something nice in the $40-45 bracket. I wouldn’t gift this to anyone.
At Home: For small intimate moments – an informal date in front of the TV with popcorn, cheese, crackers and a throw rug. Also would work when sitting on the balcony with a friend or two, again with a few savoury nibbles. It will do a solid job if you break it up with food.
Matching: I think matched with a good meal with a savoury base, Pol Gessner will not disappoint, especially with its strong and long finish. On its own, it’s not all the bells and whistles and I would avoid it unless you are a fan of very dry wines.
Score & Verdict:
Versatile but not special. You wouldn’t say no, but you’d always keep an eye out for better options. And you wouldn’t want to be seen with it in certain public places…
At $36 I feel it is reasonable value for the quality.
How did I drink it?:
Inquisitive birthday drink I took to share with my partner in a fancy hotel (for pre-drinks), before a buzzy night out at a local fancy eatery.
How did you drink it?:
And how did you find it? Let me know!
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