Domaine l’Ecu 2019 'Orthogneiss' Muscadet Sevre et Maine, Loire Valley, France
- Winemaker: Fred Niger
- Farming: Biodynamic
- Variety: Melon
- Terroir Orthogneiss, a subtype of metamorphic granite
- Vinification: Hand-harvested. Eight months in underground concrete, sur lie. Zero sulfur added.
- Tasting notes: Subtle exotic fruit, citrus and spice notes dominate with the piercing iodized minerality on the palate. Complex on the palate and finish with a luxurious mouthfeel.
Domaine de l’Ecu was founded by pioneering Guy Bossard in 1972, certified biodynamic by Demeter in 1998, and been producing unique, single terroir wines for almost 40 years running. Fred Niger, who trained extensively with Guy before taking over the estate in 2012, is an equally hands on owner and fanatic in the vineyards, crops extremely low, and produces Muscadets that have remarkable depth, precision, as well as ageability. Like Guy, Fred is deeply committed to biodynamic and organic practices but he takes these commitments even further by incorporating various types of energy work, working in terracotta amphora and working without any added sulfur in many cuvées. Amphora are made of the earth, and therefore Fred believes the natural extension for the domaine and allows for a more pure expression of the terroir without any outside interference. Most notably, he pushes the envelope beyond traditional Muscadet and Melon de Bourgogne with his stunning VDF wines, impressive not in the least because they have no added sulfur and yet ring with a purity, vibrancy and clarity that defies what one thinks is possible with natural wines.