Baron-Fuenté "Esprit" Brut Champagne

SKU #1038756 92 points Wine Enthusiast

Outer quote mark From an Aisne-based producer, this bone-dry Champagne also has plenty of richness that shows though in the ripe texture of the Pinot Noir. (RV) Inner quote mark (12/2021)

91 points James Suckling

Outer quote mark Intense nose of toast, dried pineapple, lemon rind, walnut, cocoa bean and Virginia tobacco. Medium-bodied with sharp acidity and soft bubbles. Mineral, austere and toasty character. Bone dry. Inner quote mark (9/2021)

K&L Notes

This super well-balanced bottle of Champagne gets an astoundingly luxurious seven years of aging on the lees! It is rare to find something so reasonably priced that is aged for so long. Composed of even parts Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier, it is fermented in stainless steel. Baron Fuente is a négociant that owns almost 90 acres of vines and purchases another 90 acres "sur pied," meaning that they pick the grapes. The Esprit has a very high-quality sourdough toastiness, arrived at honestly from the long aging on the lees. It is round and easy to drink, with flavors of hazelnuts contrasting its nice citrus zip. The perfect thing to serve as an elegant aperitif at an important dinner party! (Gary Westby, K&L Champagne buyer)

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Price: $34.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Aaron Hughes | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/2/2022 | Send Email
The second Baron-Fuente "Esprit" that I recently tasted - This Champagne, as opposed to its leaner cousin, does receive a dosage. With seven years on the lees, this is an amazing value for the price. Just think about the time that has been invested into this wine before it even gets to you, and yet it's under $40. With an easy-drinking mouthfeel and still brisk acidity, this Champagne invites sip after sip, and at under $40 a bottle. It's an astronomical deal, especially when you think about the work and effort that went into producing this wine. The nose is rich and inviting with baked apples and lemon candy, the palate is clean and ends with just enough acid to make you yearn for your next sip!

By: Dejah Overby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/30/2022 | Send Email
Baron Fuente Esprit has a fascinating nose of yellow cherry, candied ginger interwoven with pink peppercorns in combination with hints of tropical citrus. The finish is bright and zippy, lifted with length in the finish. This is a perfect champagne to have at the start of a meal but can also go with plateau de fruits de mer.

By: Brooke Farnden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/30/2022 | Send Email
This wine has a creamy texture, with notes of passionfruit, kiwi, strawberries, and finished off with a nice minerality! I absolutely loved this wine in our champagne tasting and would buy this for myself!

By: Giovanni Bueno | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/26/2020 | Send Email
What I love about our Direct Import Champagne program at K&L is that you never have to wonder if you’re getting your value’s worth; just like knowing the sky is blue and grass is green, the Champagne we bring in directly to our store bubbles with the worth of a good purchase. Whether it’s a bottle or case you take is the only hard choice. Baron Fuente Esprit unites the three powerhouse grapes of Champagne into a bouquet of crushed rock, pears and yellow apple, hints of grassy herbs and buttery cracker. The flavor is sophisticated and doesn’t shy away from expressing the extended period of bottle maturation that you could never dream of in a bottle of this price. The smooth and fine bubbles are easy going and elevate the richness in this wine which should help it to pair up with spicy Thai food or savory Sichuan cuisine. Pork rinds and warm savory pot pies filled with creamy chicken or leftover turkey would be great too.

By: Lauren Seward | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/18/2020 | Send Email
Baron-Fuente does it again! This wine took an insanely long time to make, and deserves some genuine appreciation. A balanced blend of equal parts Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay from three vintages, the Esprit Brut has a delicate dusty apple and brioche component to its bouquet that is wonderfully contrasted by zippy citrus, almond, and minerally flavors.

By: Tim Telli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/18/2020 | Send Email
I really like the complexity that 7 years on the lees gives this wine, which really is an uncommon length of time at this price. Zippy acid and classic brioche flavors are in this elegant champagne that really over-delivers on the price to quality ratio and is the perfect pick for any party.

By: Jennifer Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/18/2020 | Send Email
Creamy, mouth watering and nice acidity are all great descriptors for this Baron Fuente Esprit. Easily one of the best buys K&L has to offer, this champagne does not disappoint and surprisingly offered at such a reasonable price of $34.99 when it drinks well above its price point. High quality toasted flavors and zippy citrus notes linger on your palate as the bubbles enhance the aromas all around. Easy to drink for any night of the week. Enjoy!

By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/18/2020 | Send Email
Baron Fuente's Esprit Champagnes are amazing bargains and always stunners. The Brut is composed of 1/3 Meunier 1/3 Chard and 1/3 Pinot Noir, and spends seven years aging on lees. The nose is ripe with a medley of orchard fruits and a twist of lemon-lime. Peach, apple, and dark cherries meet lemon fizz candies. The texture is luscious and creamy with soft heft. The palate begins with fruit skins and citrus pith followed by buttery brioche flavors and light vanilla. The finish comes back to the zippy acid resulting in a tidy and focused Champagne that begs for appetizers.

By: Muriel Sarik | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/13/2020 | Send Email
The Baron Fuente Esprit is actually 2 champagnes. They make a Brut Nature and a Brut. The difference physically is the sugar level in the dosage. Nature is as dry as is possible in a champagne and can be austere with very high acid. This one has tropical fruit aromas with a peach like fruit flavor with the dry minerality stepping in at the finish. The Brut has more citrus in the nose and the palette fruit is a bit more forward. For those interested this is a good comparison of how dosage can change the characteristics of champagnes.

By: Chris DePaoli | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/11/2020 | Send Email
This stuff is bomb. I like to tell people I'm drinking more champagne recently, but I'm really just drinking more Baron-Fuente, and this offering, aged seven full years on the lees, is my favorite of the bunch. A rich and incredibly creamy texture that carries almond cherry danish notes over lemon meringue and dusty minerality that begs you to keep drinking it. Valentine's Day is almost here, and if you already splurged on the other trappings here's a relatively affordable option that can hang with the best of them. Absolutely Fire.

By: Alex Schroeder | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/7/2019 | Send Email
I’m prepared to argue that no other house, chateau, domaine, or estate offers the same quality-to-value ratio that Baron Fuenté offers our customers, and the “Esprit” is exhibit A. How many boutique products that take nearly 8 years to make cost less than $40? Not to mention it is made entirely from the top quality, estate-owned, riverside vines of the western Marne Valley. Lemon meringue, cream, butterscotch and a touch of hazelnut on the nose. On the palate, a rich texture that leads to a long, zippy finish with beautiful minerality.

By: Cameron Hoppas | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/5/2019 | Send Email
Seven years on lees does magical things to champagne. The bead is incredibly fine with a mousse that tickles the palate. Of course this wine also offers lovely brioche-y and red apples, with a lingering flavor of apple skin, reminding you to go back for another sip.

By: William Beare | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/5/2019 | Send Email
Another absolutely smashing value from Baron Fuente- the undisputed king of the K&L direct import program. This champagne sees a full seven years on the lees- he honest and true way to obtain that ultra-classy texture most champagne drinkers associate with a very high price tag. The nose is wonderfully toasty, and reminds me of baked apple pastry in whole wheat pie crust. There is a soft beaded minerality to the finish, clean and creamy crushed rock balance out that rich fruit and dough beautifully.

By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/29/2017 | Send Email
I recently took a bottle of this home, not having tasted it in a couple of years, and I was struck by just how good this offering from our only Direct Import negociant truly is. The long aging on the lees give this wine a natural toastiness while maintaining plenty of bright acid. Notes of baked apple, creme brulee, and lemon zest make this a wine that pairs with food especially well in the fall. An absolutely lovely bottle from our friends at Baron-Fuente.

By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/29/2016 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Empty
A prime illustration of what can be achieved in a Champagne with long aging on the lees, in this case seven full years, all to elaborate and define the essence of brioche, hazelnuts and toast that are characteristic of such extended contact. Even more remarkable is the generously modest price for this patient waiting game, a sparkler that expresses ‘’esprit to the core’, with resplendent notes of crisp lemon, bosc pear, cherry and chiffon cream, a sophisticated Champagne created for any and all occasions that involve fine food, the spirit of celebration, friendship and joy.

By: Jim Chanteloup | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/21/2015 | Send Email
We just tasted through the line of wines from Baron Fuente, and I must say, they a s good as I can ever remember. The Grand Reserve is a no-brainer for the money as is '06 vintage for $30! But, I really was impressed with the "Esprit" with 7 years on the lees for $35. Made from a blend of equal parts Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, the Esprit offers a light smoky, toasty note with nutty accents on a rich frame with honey, pear and lemon zest. Wonderful acidity and minerals complement on the palate with grace and fine persistence.

By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/1/2015 | Send Email
Absolutely gorgeous. Brioch, Tropical fruit, more yeast! Cherries and then cherries! Lemon cream. Mountains of acid and cherries and cream. What a steal.

By: Diana Turk | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/16/2015 | Send Email
Aged 7 years on the lees for under $35? Bring on the celebration! Yeasty nose with hints of caramel and plenty of autolytic characteristics (brioche!), plus chocolate and some dark cherry. While this is starting to sound more like a pastry than a beautiful bottle of wine, rest assured that these descriptors just mean this elegant Champagne is delicious.

By: Kyle Kurani | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/15/2015 | Send Email
For those Champagne fans who are forever chasing the toasty rich style of Champagne, but lamenting the prices that those styles command, this wine is for you. The Esprit from Baron Fuente spends a very impressive 8 years on the lees, developing all of the brioche-y goodness you can ask for, for a ridiculously inexpensive price tag. Toasty with sourdough toast and almond right out of the glass, the palate evolves into baked phyllo and toasted walnuts. Long and full at the back, with Almond Roca and a freshness of white peppermint that lifts the finish just perfectly.

By: Gary Westby | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/23/2015 | Send Email
The Baron Fuente Esprit gets an amazing five years of ageing on the lees. Not many Champagne houses make a non-vintage wine like this, with such a suave texture from long aging, and none at such a low price. This is elegant Champagne for sure; not at all austere, yet in no way sweet, a balanced and fine aperitif. If you want to find out what expensive tasting Champagne is all about, this is a great bottle to try... And it isn't expensive!
Top Value!

By: Jeremy Bohrer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/28/2012 | Send Email
Wow, 7 years on the lees!! You really get the rich, deep complexity from that extended sur lie aging in this bubbly. Delicious!

By: Christie Brunick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/9/2011 | Send Email
This is one of my favorite direct import Champagnes because it is seamless from start to finish. Very elegant but brilliantly intense as well. Using all stainless steel and spending 7 years on the lees gives the wine its smooth and creamy texture with that nutty brioche and layers of complexity. Triple cream on the nose with pommace fruit on the mid palate and a crisp finish.

By: Gary Lai | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/13/2010 | Send Email
Absolutely, delightfully delicious! Medium weight with earthy mushroom, nutty tones. Clean and bright, with a little vanilla flavor finish.

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