Until just a few years ago, this estate was known as Domaine Michel Esmonin et Fille. After studying in Dijon, Sylvie Esmonin worked in various capacities as a consulting oenologist. She came back to vinify the 1990 vintage, and from then on the whole production became estate-bottled. Otherwise, all decisions were made by father and daughter together, until progressively Sylvie assumed all responsibilities (with the possible exception of plowing, Michel Esmonin’s favorite vineyard chore).
The estate comprises 5 hectares in Gevrey-Chambertin, with a sizeable plot of the Premier Cru Clos St-Jacques as the family house “back yard”, and newly added plots in Volnay Santenots and Côte-de-Nuits-Village. The average age of the vines is high, most were planted by Sylvie’s grandfather, and some by her father. The winery is a large facility, with a beautiful stone cellar underneath. All grapes are destemmed, crushed and fermented in open wood vats, then put in barrels for the secondary fermentation and ageing. The barrels are of various ages to accommodate the different cuvées, with only Clos St-Jacques using a high proportion of new wood, usually 75%.
The largest cuvée, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes, comes from various plots of 60-year-old vines; it ages in 50% new wood and has toasty oak notes, is very ripe, round and chewy, with intense berry fruit.
I was not expecting a lot from a simple Gevrey village especially from 1997. But it turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. Light color but without really showing its 11 years, started very light with a beautiful nose with floral notes, cherry and earthy notes. Light + to med body, low tannin, dark cherry with strawberry and raspberry with earthy notes. A very nice wine overall. Drink now as the wine fading rather quickly in the glass.
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