2012s From Sylvie Esmonin: "Un Beau Millesime, Très Fin!"

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"2012, A beautiful vintage, very fine" says Sylvie Esmonin.

"In 2012 we had a tiny harvest. We had a rigourous winter with 15 days below freezing, a variable Spring with a bit of frost, a cool period during the flowering, then coulure and millerandange (poor and irregular fruit set), a bit of hail on June 30th and a summer with a strong and rapid variation of temperatures causing shrivelling of some grapes. This capricious climat brought a great deal of maladies, but the Pinot Noir and the vigneronne are well adapted to this difficult weather and the very summer-like month of September permitted us to harvest a small quantity of healthy and perfectly balanced grapes. The wines have beautiful, vibrant color and intense aromas with lovely aromatic complexity, a silky palate and very good length - they make the terroir of each parcel sing. Their very elegant and persistent aromas and their freshness on the palate assure a good potential for aging."

Please pardon our awkward translation, but you get the idea - a difficult vintage that produced a very small quantity of very lovely wines! (Sorry for the small quantities - 4 btl max on Gevrey VV and 2 btl max on CSJ. January 13th arrival)

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Esmonin, Sylvie 2012 Côtes-de-Nuits Villages

From vines in Brochon between Gevrey and Fixin. Medium dark ruby robe. A bit reduced on opening, with a hour decant it blossoms with black cherry, raspberry, spices, and earth. Medium-bodied with fresh acidity and moderate tannins. There's sappy red and black fruit on the palate, with savory earth and game notes lending interesting tension. The finish is savory, mineral, and fairly long. I'll concede that I have found a number of Sylvie Esmonin's wines to be perhaps overly-extracted and more marked by stem inclusion than I'd prefer; however, the last couple of vintages have seemed to be a bit more deft and harmonious. This is very good for the level and should age nicely. Paired nicely with a grilled veal chop and mushroom ragout. -John McIlwain

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