Domaine de l'Ecu Muscadet Sevre et Maine Gneiss

Domaine de l'Ecu

Wine label
Bottle sizes:750 ML
Varietals:Melon De Bourgogne
Vineyard:3 hectares parcel with 45-55 year old vines
Orientation:Northwest slope
Soil:Light, sandy top soil. Sub-soil of gneiss, a metamorphosed igneous or sedimentary rock where minerals are arranged in bands.
Viticulture:Organically farmed since 1975, biodynamic-demeter certified since 1998. Soil worked manually and yields are kept low. All grapes are hand harvested.
Vinification:Gravity fed with no use of pumps. Wild yeast fermentations with no racking of the must.
Aging:Aged on the lees in underground vats for 15 months.
Production:1,800 cases
Tasting:Gneiss is the first of the "expression" wines to be harvested, and the earliest to express itself. The nose is opulent and rich in white fruits with notes of pear, citrus, hazelnut and aromas of the sea. On the palate, the wine has a lively acidity and a minerally, saline finish.


IWC: 91 (WE)
The wine is initially light and fruity. It then opens up to give a much richer character that involves ripe white stone fruit and intense acidity. It is dense, with a tangy edge that adds minerality to the complex mix. This is part of a series of wines named after the subsoil in which the vines are planted. The fine wine is ready to drink. - Wine Enthusiast
Antonio Galloni: (88-89+)
Fresh apple with tangy skin and subtly piquant seed inflections is seemingly suffused with crushed stone. The feel is polished and the finish retains satisfying juiciness and stony grip. Niger had to intervene in tank with sulfur after this started into malolactic. It nonetheless showed well in late July 2016 and was, like the other l’Ecu “geological” bottlings, slated for September 2016 bottling. But I have not yet been able to connect with the finished wine in the US. At this point, I prefer to be conservative with my prognosis of ageability.
Other: 92
The 2014 Gneiss bottling from Domaine de l’Écu is an excellent example of the vintage, but the estate had to shorten the customary aging on the lees for its top cuvées in 2014 from fifteen months down to twelve, as they simply had no wine to offer clients! The wine is produced from forty-five to fifty-five year-old vines and delivers a superb bouquet of pear, a refined note of sea salts, a beautifully complex base of soil, a touch of leesiness and a gentle floral note redolent of lilacs. On the palate the wine is pure, fullish, crisp and quite a bit more primary in profile than the nose suggests, with a fine core, nascent complexity and excellent bounce on the long and focused finish. A lovely bottle in the making. 2015-2025+.