A few weeks ago when I was asking what wine I should review for the blog’s 1000th view I got an email from a new reader. She had a suggestion for two wines, one a very fine Rioja, the other a Gevrey-Chambertin, which I had never heard of. Hardly a shock, but if you have been reading me for a while you know if I hear of it, I have to drink it.
So off I went to the wine store. The wine I selected was Gevrey-Chanbetin, Clos Prieur, Frederic Esmonin 2011. Prior to 1987 the wines produced by Esmonin were sold to negociants like Leroy and Jadot. Some of the great wines from Leroy of the 1950’s were reported to be from Esmonin. In the 1990’s wines from Domaine Frederic Esmonin lacked consistency, however today they are considered best buys.
The wine is a classic Pinot Noir with a crystal clear red color that, when held to the sunlight, was nothing short of spectacular! The nose was slight–berries and flowers–and blew off quite quickly, while the palate was nice with a splash of the berries and some minerality. I’d pair this with fish; it would go great with salmon. This is a French wine, which means its subtle, slight; its girly wine. This is not to say I didn’t enjoy it, it’s just I like more brass and less strings in my wine.
The French are all about terroir; the soil, bedrock, exposure to the sun, wind, water, rootstock and local climate. Gevrey-Chanbertin is in Burgundy, one of the world’s most famous terroirs, and the home of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. This is also where one of my favorite wines, Beaujolais, comes from, but don’t tell Philip the Bold it will piss him off!
Burgundy is considered as the most terroir-conscious of all the French wine regions. This meticulous delineating of vineyards from Grand Cru vineyards down to Aunt Sadie’s backyard dates back to medieval days, when various monasteries played key roles in developing the Burgundy wine industry.
Wine has been growing in Burgundy since 2nd century AD, and they think my celtic ancestors may have been drinking wine from here when the Romans showed up in 51 AD. The wine has been compared once again to the famous Falermian wines. It was the Benedictines that started the whole terroir thing by building walls around vineyards called Clos. They were the first to notice that different vineyards plots gave consistently better wines.
This wine is pricy. Even this “best Value” was about $24 which is on my high end. It’s worth it for the experience. Please as always if you have a wine you love let me know, so I can love it too!