TN: A great Frederic Esmonin 2012

Afternoon all,

This was bloody marvellous.

Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru Estournelles Saint-Jacques 2012, Frédéric Esmonin

Highly attractive - no, far more attractive than you think I mean – nose of large, fleshy, perfectly ripe cherries. The perfume of ripe fruit dreamily evaporating from this instruct your senses to come hither and whisper to your higher faculties that you are going to have a profoundly engaging time with this charmer.

The nose is squeaky clean; people who still think that great Burgundy should smell like shit can piss off right now.

Whilst it is clean and exquisitely fruity, it is no anonymous New World fruit bomb. There are layers of complexity to the fruit, each sniff reveals different aspects of its loveliness.

Moreover, the fruit is not an explosively powerful, one dimensional aroma driven by a bastard load of alcohol. Nor is it striving for complexity by maturation in heavily charred oak.

This wine is not a simple, booze-driven fruit explosion. It may have attractive, ripe, even sweet fruit, but that sweetness does not come from alcohol, it is only 13%. That fruit comes from a serious vineyard that has been bathed in sunlight and warmth (for part of the growing season, anyway).

The fruit characters have their complexity enhanced by a slightly floral character; violets, possibly? No matter, this nose communicates you are going to have a complex, cerebral time as you drink it whilst giving you an occasional squeeze of your rude bits to keep you giggly.

The palate is both profound in structure and deliciously lithe and svelte. Shall we start on the serious bit?

Structure here is more about acid with tannin taking a more delicate role. This may sound unattractive, but the prominence of the acid keeps it perky and pert as a nipple that has just had an ice cube rubbed against it.

Even though tannin is secondary to acidity in the structure of this wine, it gives the wine a pleasing slightly chewy character. This, together with the sapidity of the acid makes for a very pleasing, as well as serious, structure to the wine and also, I feel this structure will keep it a lithe beauty for a very long time to come.

This is made for more likely thanks to the brilliant third element of the structure: the fruit. The fruit here is very refined and svelte. But give it a good chew in your mouth and you will be rewarded with a mouthful of gorgeousness that will grab you anywhere you fancy and give you a good grapple.

It is super lovely fruit, once again a multidimensional affair of libidinous aspect – drinking this is just an absolute hoot. And if you have purchased enough I bet every bottle you drink will grab at your short and curlies, and also of those who survive you if you drink too slowly.

I shall sum up. Basically, wines like this are the reason we drink Burgundy (or those rare great Pinots from elsewhere). Superficially it is a really attractive, deliciously fruity wine of great sapidity. However, it is damned well more than that. It has great elegance and refinement, never overwhelming, never tiring you. It has the perfect structure of fruit, acid and tannin to be properly serious and age and improve for decades. This is what great Burgundy/Pinot does that nothing else can quite manage: the great properties of lubriciousness and longevity combined into an incredibly intricate, supremely pleasurable whole.

Can you tell that I liked it?


Hey! That was my 800th post! What a great wine to celebrate my 800th post with!

Thanks, David! I’ve been buying this wine since tasting the 2010 several years ago. Price has crept up so it’s not quite the value it was, but still not bad for a solid 1er Cru. I do like the style. It’s modern in the sense of very clean, fruity and easy to drink, but not flashy, over-extracted or over-oaked. It appeals to me in the same way as Bertheau does in Chambolle.

lovely note! And I understood most of the words!

Thank you, chaps! It was a fantastic wine, I hope I communicated enthusiasm for that.


“Sapidity.” Beautiful.

Craig, I am told that Esmonin’s wines are about to take a big jump in price, far beyond what we have seen in the past few years.

Since they’ll be about the first 2015s on the market that might just be the tip of the iceberg. I’m not sure what to expect.

Lovely note. Sounds like my kind of wine too!

This note evokes fond memories of the 1995 version of the same wine - the first 1er Cru Burgundy I ever tasted.

Nice to hear reference to them that isn’t along the lines of “… but not as good as Sylvie Esmonin” [cheers.gif]

As always, I love Davey’s notes full of passion, prose and elegant vulgarity. While he eschews scores, you know exactly where he stands on a wine. For those that need a score, you might be able to extrapolate based on some common descriptors:
Shitting f*ck
Pissing Crap
Bloody Marvelous
Titting Marvelous
Very Good
I might have these slightly out of order, but it’s way better than any point or star scoring system, IMHO.

Cheers, and keep the notes coming! [cheers.gif]


Thank you for you comments, everyone! It’s nice to know that people feel my teaching worth a read.

Warren, can I add the quality comment ‘shitting f*ck’ to this wine? It rather was the cat’s arse and precisely why we drink Burgundy. Couple of cases of that to last the rest of my life and I’d be chuffed as ninepence!

[thumbs-up.gif] [good.gif]

Good morning again, chaps,

The partner just added, “A really fine wine should make you you think about things, should make you feel things. This wine very definitely achieved those lofty characteristics,” clever taster, the partner…

I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it now. It was such a freaking quintuple-A bottle.

I’m perturbed by the talk of process going up. This was one of the producers I could afford more regularly. After the appalling hail on the Côte this summer, general prices are going to sky rocket. Buy the 14s whilst you can still afford Burgundy!


I would squeeze my rude bits if I had half your talent for writing tasting notes Davy. Well done, mate.

Huh. Has the winemaking improved? Last year, I opened a bottle of 95 Ruchottes that I found so boring it ended up in coq au vin.

^ Yes.

Brilliant! From you and Dani! A wine of meditation.

Thank you for reading, everyone, and thank you for taking the time to comment.

A. So, I’ve had remarkably few of his Grand Crus as, so the rumour goes, they are largely made from bought in grapes and the quality is not so high. I’ve never been disappointed by his 1er Cru wines, though.

Davy (and Dani!)