John Gilman 94+
"Domaine de l’Écu’s Orthogneiss bottling is produced from vineyards with metamorphosed rock that is far more granitic than the straight micro schist found in the vineyards that make up the Gneiss bottling. As I mentioned last year, the domaine has old vines, with the average age fully fifty years old, and the 2012 Orthogneiss is stunning, as it jumps from the glass in a smokier constellation of bread fruit, pear, ocean breeze, beautiful leesy tones, dried flowers and an overtly smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and utterly seamless on the attack, with superb mid-palate depth, outstanding focus and grip and a very, very long, crisp and supremely elegant finish. Great juice. 2014-2035."
Wine Advocate 91
"The brillant, lemon-colored 2012 Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Orthogneiss shows a complex and dense matured aroma of ripe, rather tropical fruits, such as pineapple intertwined with lime rind, honeydew melon, floral notes and very delicate yeasty flavors. This is a surprisingly rich, full-bodied, very complex and persistent wine with a thrilling acidity, mineral length and candied citrus aromas in the aftertaste. A great Muscadet to drink now or in the next 10 to 15 years."~Stephan Reinhardt
Stephan Reinhardt's Greatest Value Wines of 2014
"Muscadet is one of the most underrated wines on planet wine. Is this because of the ridiculous prices the producers ask for their wines? This one here is surprisingly rich, full-bodied, very complex and persistent and characterized by its thrilling acidity and mineral length. Already delicious to drink, it can age for far more than a decade."
"We are extremely excited to be representing the wines of Domaine de l’Ecu. For many years, under the guidance of the talented Guy Bossard, this domaine has held its place in the top eschelon of producers in Muscadet. The estate was also one of the early practitioners of organic viticulture, well before it was fashionable to do so, and has been certified Organic for over 40 years and certified Biodynamic for over 20. Bossard is fanatic in the vineyards, crops extremely low, and produces Muscadets that have remarkable depth, precision, as well as ageability. Unlike most regular Muscadet, the wines are aged sur-lie for around 15 months. The estate produces three different “flagship” Muscadets, each crafted from different subsoils of the region; Gneiss, Orthogneiss and Granite. The estate has recently changed ownership, as Bossard had no heirs who wanted to take over the property. The estate is now owned by a passionate, wine-loving gentleman named Frederik Niger Van Herck. Frederick is most definitely a “hands-on” owner, and is dedicated to maintaining the greatness of this singular estate. To that end, he has retained Bossard as an ongoing consultant to work side-by-side in both the vineyards and cellar to make sure that the transition is smooth for years to come."~Distributor Notes
Domaine de l'EcuView all from Domaine de l'Ecu
"Many feel that Domaine de l'Ecu (along with a very small group of other domaines, of course) is to thank for what Muscadet is today. The domaine's 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 for over 40 years and certified Biodynamic 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 was born the famed terroir wines from the subsoils of Gneiss, 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.
Besides these factors, there are a series of non-negotiable "house rules" that apply to all the wines at Domaine de L'Ecu: working the soils, harvesting by hand, fermenting with indigenous yeast, avoiding 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.
In recent years, the domaine has seen a change of hands since celebrated owner and natural viticulturist Guy Bossard had no heirs interested in taking over the property. The estate is now run by a passionate, wine-loving gentleman named Frederik (Fred) Niger. Fred is a very "hands-on" owner and is dedicated to maintaining the greatness of the estate. To that end, he has retained Bossard as an ongoing consultant to ensure a smooth transition.
Like Bossard, Fred is a fanatic in the vineyards, crops extremely low, and makes Muscadets that have remarkable depth, precision and ageability. His passion and connection to the natural world guide his every move in the vineyard and cellar. He is present, observant and mindful, always with the goal of working in tandem with the forces of nature and never against them. In recent years, Fred has embarked on a compelling endeavor to craft a collection of Vin De France varietal wines fermented and aged in a combination of amphora and barrel, and sometimes amphora alone. He is particularly interested in the energy exchange between vessel and wine, and ultimately in how this energy is transmitted to those of us who have the pleasure of experiencing these vibrant, lively, pure expressions of soil and grape."