Comparisons are seldom perfect; this wine followed the ’98 Jadot Bèze which, as an adolescent, was quite savoury and certainly very ‘correct’ – I very-much enjoyed it – yet here is a wine that wears it’s youth on its shirt-collar, but still offers a controlled but compelling package that avoids the seamless, perfect interpretations of some modern high-fliers – that is to say, it shows character!
A slightly unfair choice I suppose, but if I could have only one of these bottles in the cellar, today I would take this over the Jadot, though I bet I can’t get any more for the £38 each that they cost!
2001 Frédéric Esmonin, Chambertin Clos de Bèze
A medium-plus, young, ruby-red colour. The nose is a beauty; superb depth, remnants of dark oak, wide notes of turned soil, baked bread and a slightly peppery dark fruit. Slowly but surely a soft red fruit note builds in the glass, the last drops showing a super-precise and penetrating redcurrant perfume. In the mouth this is full, velvety and still shows quite some oak flavour. There’s a little high-toned ‘mouth perfume’ and a very long bitter chocolate and oak finish. To dwell on the oak would be to ignore waves of fruit flavour that wash across the mid-palate, not to mention another burst of flavour before moving into the finish. Clearly a very young wine, but it just oozes class; that it was bought en-primeur for less than most premier crus of 2005-2007 makes me love it all the more. Really, really super.
Rebuy – Yes