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 Frederic Esmonin sign [1]

This small domaine in Les Estournelles, Gevrey-Chambertin has approximately 10 acres of vineyards. The production of each wine is very small with the average production of each of the vineyard designated wines varying from around 75 cases to 300 cases. Most of the holdings at this Domaine have old vines. Prior to 1987 the wines were sold to negociants such as Leroy and Jadot. Some of the very great wines of the 50s from Leroy are believed to have come from this Domaine. Those wines can still be remarkable today. In the very early years of Domaine bottling in the 80s and 90s, the Domaine Frédéric Esmonin wines seemed to lack consistency. But, for many years now they have been at a high level of quality, yet still seem to be under the radar.

This review of the 2011s is the third year that I have reviewed the wines of Domaine Frédéric Esmonin after bottling. (To read the article on the 2010s click here [2]and  to read the article on the 2009s click here [3]). And, in all of these years the wines have been impressive. I tasted these 2011s over a period of 10 days. The wines held beautifully. The Bourgogne and the Côte de Nuits Villages were lovely from the outset. The others all benefited from air with the Champonnet and Mazy benefiting the most. These 2011s are really lovely and are excellent examples of the vintage with lovely pure fruit and great balance. I think the vineyard designated wines will age effortlessly for at least 10-20 years while the Bourgogne and Côtes de Nuits Villages should be consumed over the next few years.  The Domaine Frédéric Esmonin Burgundies continue to represent excellent value in Red Burgundy and are wines to buy. The wines of Domaine Frédéric Esmonin are imported by Atherton Wine Imports Atherton, CA.

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2011 Domaine Frédéric Esmonin Hautes Côtes de Nuits.
This wine is a worthy successor to the lovely 2010. Here is a lovely Burgundy with character, balance, and flavor at a very affordable price. It has a very nice color and a lovely floral perfume with a touch of spice. The wine has a lot finesse and elegance and is very appealing to drink now and over the next few years – Highly Recommended.  $20  Best Buy  2-yellow-stars [5]

2011 Domaine Frédéric Esmonin Côtes De Nuits Village La Bellevue.
This is also lovely and a bit more forward than the Bourgogne. It has a very has a very nice floral perfume with a faint hint of spice. The wine has lovely fruit and is supple with nice underlying crispness – Recommended Plus.   $25  1-n-half-yellow-stars [6]

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2011 Domaine Frédéric Esmonin Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Prieur.
The vines in Clos Prieur are 50-60 years old. Always a sleeper, this wine is as good as many Premier Crus and it is very affordable and delicious with a proven ability to age. This is real match for the 2010.  I said this about the 2010: This is a relatively unknown wine with more class and breed than anyone would suspect. It is capable of aging for a very long time (I have a few bottles from 1949 that are lovely). It is a real sleeper and a great value. With a very nice color this 2011 has a lovely berry tinged floral perfume. It has gorgeous pure fruit and is supple and elegant with a good underlying backbone. Undeniably charming, the balance here is really lovely. This is a Burgundy that can be consumed with pleasure now or cellared for the longer term – Outstanding.    $28    Best Buy   3-yellow-stars [8]

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2011 Domaine Frédéric Esmonin Gevrey-Chambertin Jouises Vielles Vignes.
Another sleeper, this old vines bottling is a real winner and a great buy. The wine has a very nice color and a lovely cherry tinged floral perfume. Supple and elegant with lovely pure fruit it has a myriad of fruit flavors and is balanced with a lovely finish. This is yet another great buy – Outstanding.   $31   3-yellow-stars [8]

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2011 Domaine Frédéric Esmonin Gevrey-Chambertin Champonnet 1er Cru.
The vines here are 55 years old and the parcel is small with average production around 100 cases. This is quite a large scaled wine for the vintage and should repay aging. It has concentration and depth with a lot of fruit. With a deep color the wine shows a floral blackberry tinge perfume and is structured with lots of floral tinged blackberry fruit. Lay this one away and come back again in 5 years – Outstanding  Plus.   $45   Best Buy   3-n-half-yellow-stars [11]

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2011 Domaine Frédéric Esmonin Gevrey-Chambertin Estournelles St. Jacques 1er Cru.
The vines here are 45 years old. Always seeming to have an exotic quality and an extra dimension of complexity as compared with the other Premier Crus, this is again a gorgeous wine in 2011. It has a deep color and a gorgeous floral perfume tinged with plum and blackberry and a faint exotic nuance. With lots of very pure supple fruit this is a wine that has flavor and elegance with great structure and balance. With air the exotic undertone becomes more pronounced. This is a Burgundy that is delicious to drink now, but will replay aging for an extended period – Outstanding Plus.   $46   Best Buy 3-n-half-yellow-stars [11]

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2011 Domaine Frédéric Esmonin Gevrey-Chambertin Lavaux St. Jacques 1er Cru.
The vines here are 45 years old. This is typically a lovely wine of restraint and finesse and these qualities are again evident in this 2011. With a deep color it has a lovely perfume of plum fruit with floral nuances and has lots of berry fruit with a good underlying structure. This wine benefits from air and will age beautifully for many years – Outstanding.    $46    3-yellow-stars [8]

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2011 Domaine Frédéric Esmonin Mazy-Chambertin.
This Mazy is made from a very small plot of vines that are 50-60 years old. It is typically one of the most restrained of the Frederic Esmonin wines and it is even more so in 2011. The wine benefits from a lot of aeration and should be decanted for several hours before drinking and ideally cellared for at least 5 years. With a very nice color this Mazy is a wine of finesse and restraint with lovely fruit. It has a subtle perfume with floral tinged berry fruit and a touch of spice. It is rounded with a firm underlying structure and a nice finish – Outstanding.    $84    3-yellow-stars [8]

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2011 Domaine Frédéric Esmonin Ruchottes-Chambertin.
This Ruchottes is produced from a plot of vines that are 50-60 years old. Ruchottes is always the most intense and concentrated of the Frederic Esmonin wines, so it is again in 2011. Here is what I said about the 2010 comparing it with the 2009: This 2010 is like the great 2009 in the sense that it has the combination of intensity and depth of flavor wrapped in a seamless package with great style and finesse. This 2011 Ruchottes is again a terrific Burgundy. And, for wines of this pedigree, it is a great buy. The wine has a deep color and a great perfume with berry and cherry fruit showing a floral spice tinge. It has loads of cherry fruit with a faint kiss of spice and an underlying floral note. Balanced and rich this is a wine with a long life ahead. And what a treat it will be to compare the 2009, 2010, and 2011 10 years down the line – Extraordinary.    $84     Best Buy   4-yellow-stars [16]

So there you have it. The quantities of these wines are very small and the wines are under the radar. This is an opportunity to buy delicious Burgundies at very attractive prices. Don’t miss it!