Frédéric Esmonin – 2020


Frédéric & André Esmonin 2021Tasted with Fred’s father, André, in Gevery-Chambertin – Fred and André pictured, 22 July 2021.

Domaine Frédéric Esmonin
Les Estournelles
12 Rue du Chêne
21220, Gevrey Chambertin
Tel. +33 9 79 66 20 27
More reports with Domaine Frédéric Esmonin

I never visit this domaine enough – the wines are excellent and remain fairly priced – for Burgundy. The only issue is that they are relatively early bottlers – so an early visit is required or a shorter tasting of the already bottled wines. I chose the former this year!

André & Fred on 2020 and 2021:
Aug 22 harvest for the Esmonin team – a record – the finish was in August too for the first time ever. We lost about 40% of our volume in 2020 and it looks like, maybe, half this year too – 2019 was also low – though it’s a very good vintage. 2017 and 2018 were the last vintages of decent volumes. We find 2017 very pinot, though 2018 shows more depth. The market for our wines has remained fine in 2021 and for the moment the maladies of the vintage are not too bad – for now, just a little oïdium in some places. We plan the bottling of the 2020s mainly in November, some malos still evident in some of the villages but they should be fine by then.

The wines

Super wines here in 2020 and that’s ignoring the extra value that the domaine’s pricing brings. They would definitely be on my shopping-list!

2020 Gevrey-Chambertin
This is a blend of 6 parcels.
Lots of colour here. Pure, intense, darker fruit with an oak spice accent. Soft texture, lovely acidity, I love the vivacity here – quite a vibrant and mineral style in the finish. This is lovely.

2020 Gevrey-Chambertin Clos Prieur
From the ‘Villages’ rated section of the vineyard, rather than the premier cru part. This wine eloquently underlines that villages/1er cru hierarchies are relative in each village, rather than a constant benchmark across villages. This wine easily bettering any of the proposed Marsannay 1ers…
Some extra width of aroma to this vibrant nose – that’s really super. Extra depth too – the same energy but much more depth to the flavour. That’s simply a benchmark Gevrey.

2020 Pernand-Vergelesses
A single vineyard near the bottom of Ile des Vergellesses. Had this about 8 years.
Airier, higher-toned – very different but concentrated too. More direct, super energy again, currently a faint oak spice in this wine. Then easy and layered in the finish, finishing quite mineral and very long. Overall, I prefer the Clos Prieur but this is also a beauty.

2020 Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes Les Jousie
From the grapes of 67-year-old vines.
Just a little malo showing on this one. But that’s a finely silky and direct wine. Saline energy in the finish – a finish that fans out over the palate too. Lovely!

2020 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Les Champonets
Super colour. A little reductive to start. Mouth-filling, less direct, good energy, melting flavour over the palate. Here the oak is more evident. A cossetting texture and again a layered finish – a stronger finish here. Tasty wine. The last drops in the glass letting go of the reduction and adding some more open florality – this should become an excellent 1er cru.

2020 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Lavaux St.Jacques
Already floral, despite a faintly reductive accent to the aromas. Clean attack, width of flavour, a waterfall of flavour here – thats a super wine in the middle – just wait for the oak to fade a little but simply super wine.

2020 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Estournelles St.Jacques
An extra clarity to this aroma – depth too – really super. Structural but mouth-filling, intense, layered, always a great wine here. A little smoky oak in the long finishing flavours. The last drops in glass becoming floral. Great wine for the price asked here.
2020 Ruchottes-Chambertin
From below the Clos de Ruchottes of Rousseau and near the Mazis of Faiveley.
Deep colour. Such a deep nose too – darker red fruit, almost cushioned. Extra in all directions, with more sweetness to this fruit. A wine that plays over the tongue. Extra in the finish – simply a wine with extra in all directions – textbook grand cru.

2020 Mazis-Chambertin – Hospices de Beaune
This nose is completely different; rounder fruit, some strawberry, some almond, floral too. Mouth-filling. Intense and concentrated, a deeply flavoured wine – very impressive but the Ruchottes, by comparison, is the more pure and has less make-up – I easily prefer the Ruchottes.

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

There are 3 responses to “Frédéric Esmonin – 2020”

  1. Markydb4th November 2021 at 1:23 pmPermalinkReply

    I have adored these wines for years for several reasons that many eschew. Yes, they bottle early, but as a result the wines drink well earlier than others, even the grand crus if you but half bottles as well as full ones so you can sample as they age. Their very fair prices allow one to buy mixed cases of half’s & wholes which allows years of enjoyment with predictable (benefit of halfs)regularly is indeed a joy. Let others eschew this domaine all they want because it means more 1st rate Burgundy for me and others. In sum, a terrific address.

  2. Craig10th February 2022 at 6:20 pmPermalinkReply

    Not having tried this Domaine before, I was pleased to enjoy their 2017 Ruchottes-Chambertin recently. I found the wine’s extraction, texture and balance very compelling if on the delicate side of red Burgundy. The wine conveyed a true sense of fruit sweetness that comes with good tannin extraction/integration. I was disappointed somewhat with the aromas. While red fruited, they were slightly reduced/muted even after long aeration; there was also a sense of moldy/microbial character that never dissipated. Question: does this Domaine practice low or no SO2 usage during fermentation/elevage? Or, perhaps no racking until bottling? I will, however, search-out more from this Domaine.

    • billn10th February 2022 at 7:34 pmPermalinkReply

      Hi Craig – think that they use a a pretty standard approach to elevage. Unless you have a second bottle to compare with, I would probably be pointing a finger at the cork – tca not being the only off aromas that can come from our favourite seals…

  3. Craig16th February 2022 at 1:35 amPermalinkReply


    We did have another bottle, our last, and it was similar for the first: lovely mouthfeel, texture and length but not much on the fragrance/aroma. Agree that sub-threshold tca or similar compounds could be the culprit but seems more in the reductive spectrum. Your comments/insights are greatly appreciated!

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