Domaine de l’Ecu, ‘Orthogneiss’ Muscadet Sevre et Maine 2018
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Region: Muscadet-Sevre-et-Maine, Loire, France
Varietal: 100% Melon De Bourgogne
Tasting notes: These OG organic/biodynamic pioneers have been farming their vineyards in the Pays Nantais for 40+ years. This zesty and palate-refreshing Muscadet shows flavors of lemon rind, gunsmoke, oyster shells, and sea salt. L'Ecu bottles their wines based on soil type, hence the name ‘Orthogneiss.'
Producer: Many feel that Domaine de l'Ecu (along with a very small group of other domaines, of course) is to thank for how Muscadet is thought of today. The domaine's early influence can be attributed to three main factors: 1) Early adoption of organic viticulture in the Loire, well before it was fashionable to do so. The vineyards of Domaine de l'Ecu have been certified organic by Ecocert for over 40 years and certified biodynamic by Demeter for over 20 years. 2) Stong belief in the unique terroirs of Muscadet that inspired vinification and bottling based on soil type, as opposed to appellation blends. Thus the famed terroir wines were born from the subsoils of Orthogneiss and Granite. 3) Unlike most regular Muscadet, the wines are aged sur-lie for 15-18 months, resulting in a texture and layered complexity that have come to define the unique style of Domaine de l'Ecu Muscadets and set them apart from other wines in the appellation. In fact, some Loire cogni scenti have argued that Domaine de l'Ecu should be its own appellation - like Chateau Grillet, for example - due to the singularity of the wines.
Vineyard and Winemaking: All the wines at Domaine de L’Ecu follow these guidelines: biodiversity in the vineyards, low yields, harvesting by hand, fermentation with indigenous yeast, no pumping or racking of the must (only gravity), and minimal use of sulfur. All in all, it is a philosophy of "no make-up"; just true wines without adulteration or artifice.
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