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2007 Burgundy: Domaines Sylvie Esmonin & Jean-Jacques Confuron

June 27, 2010

I found no reason to turn down an offer of a 4-course dinner on 14 June 2010 at Bistro du Vin, paired with the 2007 wines of Domaines Sylvie Esmonin and Jean-Jacques Confuron, all for only SGD80++. Both are well-known estates, crafting quality wines that remain most reasonably priced, and both are made by women, Sophie having taken over from her father Jean-Jacques since 1988. As 2007 was a relatively poor vintage, it made perfect sense to drink these wines at this stage while they still retain their youthful freshness before the fruit dries out.

We began with the 2007 Sylvie Esmonin Bourgogne Blanc. Pale straw color with a light touch of citrus and lemon, supported by surprisingly vibrant acidity and chalky minerality. Soft, rounded and persistent. Developed an attractive creamy texture with time, becoming richer with greater intensity and attack without any greeness. Lovely.

It’s red counterpart, the 2007 Sylvie Esmonin Bourgogne Rouge, also kept pace. Dull ruby red and made in a more straightforward style, medium-bodied with fairly good concentration of raspberries and brandied cherries particularly towards the finish where it’s noticeably denser, imparting a lovely fragrance and a lingering finish. Not surprising, perhaps, that it’s rather feminine.

We then moved on to a pair of wines from Jean-Jacques Confuron, the 2007 Nuits St-Georges “les Fleurieres” (a village wine, in spite of a named location) and the 2007 Chambolle-Musigny to go with the pan-roasted barramundi. Compared to the preceding bourgogne rouge, this was ruby red with more stufing in the middle, revealing good concentration of red fruits, significantly richer with greater depth, but I can’t help feeling it’s somewhat flat and clumsy on the mid-palate. Overshadowed on this occasion by the Chambolle-Musigny village which was typically darker red, quite exuberant on the nose with ripe red fruits and occasional blackberries. Rich, rounded, with substantial depth and density in the middle layer which I find are unmistakable hallmarks of Chambolle-Musigny wines. Has power and elegance, in spite of being a bigger wine. Excellent.

We returned to Sylvie Esmonin for the final course of Coq au Vin (slow-cooked chicken leg), paired with the 2007 Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St Jacques, the only wine to be decanted. Dark ruby, exuding a heavier but lovely perfumed fragrance of red and black currrants. Deeper on the entry, with a sharper attack, but it tended to fade towards the finish. Has good density but lacking in the utter opulence that a Clos St Jacques can deliver in excellent years, although it became more even and fuller on the palate with time, developing a mild sacharine coating. In this sense, it was slightly disappointing. After taking prices into consideration,  the JJ Confuron Chambolle-Musigny gets my nod as Wine of the Night.

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