Clos Saint-Jacques

2020: The Rare and Beautiful Burgundies of Sylvie Esmonin!

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Our small allocation of 2020s from Sylvie Esmonin has just arrived and the wines are full-bodied, complex and quite beautiful with the density of ripe fruit balanced by firm acidity, in this very good vintage in Burgundy. During our visits to the estate many years ago, the importance of plowing and good farming to create deep root systems was emphasized frequently, especially in a vintage like 2020 when her vines suffered less than others from the heat and dryness. Though not certified organic, the use of herbicides was stopped in 1990 which led to cutting out sytemic fungicides and pesticides as well. This was a change from her father's methods as was the use of whole-clusters in fermentation, approximately 70% in the Gevrey VV and Clos St. Jacques, which came from tasting old wines and wines from DRC that were vinified without de-stemming. "So I tried it for myself, and I think you really gain more complexity, specifically floral aromas." Sylvie feels that the current use of total de-stemming and cold macerations blurs the distinction between wines by exaggerating a one-dimensional fruitiness.

Vineyard worker at Esmonin 2023

More controversial, perhaps, is the estate's use of a high percentage of new oak. Sylvie feels, however, that the quality and type of oak she uses does not mark the wine excessively and that a ripe vintage, especially, necessitates it's use. The quality of the vineyard work, the age of the vineyards, the use of whole clusters and the judicious use of new oak at Domaine Esmonin create distinctive and substantial Burgundies. The 2020s are unique and delicious wines that show the success of the estate's philosophies, in their complexity and elegance and their certain ability to age beautifully - we encourage you to put a few in your cellar...

(Sylvie once told me "When the dogs start eating the grapes, it's time to pick" - DL)

 

Sylvie Esmonin 2019 (photo LouisDressner)

The estate consists of 7.8  hectares, half owned, half rented: 80 ares of Bourgogne Rouge, 60 ares in Côtes-de-Nuits, 10 ares of Bourgogne Aligoté, 20 ares of Bourgogne Blanc, 20 ares in Volnay-Santenots, 1.7 hectares of the 1er cru Clos-Saint-Jacques and 4.4 hectares in Gevrey-Chambertin. The average age of the vines is high, most were planted by Sylvie’s grandfather and some by her father. The Clos-Saint-Jacques, considered a Grand Cru in everything but name, is planted right behind Sylvie's house and is essentially her backyard. (2 more hectares have recently been added, in Gevrey Villages and Bourgogne Rouge)

Sylvie Esmonin on her 2020s, quoted in Burghound - "it was the first time I have ever picked in August! The season was hot, dry and precocious and while we really didn't have any periods of overwhelming heat, it was really the sustained dryness that stressed out the vines. Ultimately, I chose to pick from the 26th of August and continued through to the 9th of September. Yields were not great at around 25 hl/ha, which is about what I realized in 2019 though by contrast the sugars were pretty much ideal at potential alcohols levels of 12.5 to 13.5%... As was also the case with 2019, the berries were tiny with high solid to juice ratios, so it was necessary to vinify softly. I used a bit less whole cluster compared to the last few vintages though it was basically between 20 and 60%... Overall, 2020 is an excellent vintage and while I wouldn't necessarily say that it's better than 2019, it's certainly stylistically different."

Wines will be availalble for pick-up/shipping on Wednesday 3/27. Net priced. (Thanks to Louis/Dressner Selections and Burghound for data and quotes).

Esmonin, Sylvie 2020 Gevrey-Chambertin

"Depending on the vintage, 30 to 50% of the grapes are macerated whole-cluster for 12 to 13 days in open wood vats, then racked to barrel for fermentation and aging. The barrel breakdown is: 20% new oak, 30% "one wine" barrels, 50% "two wine" barrels. From average 45 year-old vines" - Louis/Dressner

  • red
  • 2 in stock
  • no discount
  • $71.99

  • Organic
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Esmonin, Sylvie 2020 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Clos-Saint-Jacques

From 45 to 55 year-old vines in 1.6 hectares with parcels at all three levels of the slope, one bottle per customeer please.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $209.99

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Esmonin, Sylvie 2020 Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes

From vines that average 75+ year old vines located in Aux Carougeot, Gueulpines, Aux Corvées, Combe de Dessus, Jouise, Epointures, En Sylvie, Les Marchais, En Derée, En Songe, En Vosne and both the villages and 1er portions of Clos Prieur. One bottle per customer please.

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  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $94.99

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Esmonin, Sylvie 2020 Côtes-de-Nuits Villages

From 50 to 85 year-old vines in "La Croix Violette" and "Les Vignois," mid-slope in Brochon, close to Fixin.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $54.99

  • Organic