Vineyard: 3 hectares parcel with 45-55 year old vines
Soil: Top soil is granulous and not very deep (30-50 cm). Sub-soil of orthogneiss, a metamorphosed igneous 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. Only 25 mg of sulfur added between alcoholic and malolactic fermentation.
Aging: Aged on the lees in underground vats for 15-18 months.
Production: 1,420 cases
Notes: The Muscadet with the broadest shoulders in the Domaine de l'Ecu lineup, Orthogneiss is layered, complex and almost creamy but with a razor-edged acidity. A singular wine in a singlular group of wines.
The most intriguing as well as polished of the l’Ecu 2014 trio, this combines an extract-rich sense of substantiality and lees-induced textural richness with brightly juicy lime and apple, delightful buoyancy, and mouthwatering mineral salts. The long, vibrant finish oscillates alluringly between the poles of fruit and mineral while delivering consummate refreshment.
Publication: View from the Cellar – John Gilman
The 2014 Orthogneiss cuvée from Domaine de l’Écu is superb on both the nose and palate, wafting from the glass in a pure and complex constellation of lemon, bread fruit, gentle maritime scents, spring flowers and a very complex base of minerality. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, pure and vibrant, with a lovely core, great focus and grip and a very long, youthful and utterly seamless finish. This will gain more complexity with a bit of bottle age, but it is so beautifully balanced that it is going to be hard to resist it right from the start. 2015-2030+.
Publication: Other Press
Rating: 92 (WE)
This is part of a series of wines named after the subsoil in which the vines are planted. The soil in this case is formed from igneous rocks. It gives a fine, pure wine that has great richness as well as fresh apple and pear flavors. The wine with just that extra few months aging is ready to drink. - WIne Enthusiast