Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

Nice gneiss

with 2 comments

Am taking a short break from Prince Edward County to give me more time to hunt for technical information on the wines. In the meantime…

Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine 2009, Expression d’Orthogneiss, Domaine de l’Écu ($20.40, 10919141)
100% biodynamically farmed Melon de Bourgogne (aka Muscadet) grown in a vineyard with a thin, gravelly top soil and an orthogneiss subsoil. Fermented with indigenous yeasts at 15–17ºC (59–63ºF). The winery uses gravity, not pumps, to move the must and wine. 12% ABV.
If wines were paintings, this would be a watercolour. One of the most minerally noses ever: quartz and chalk along with dried lemon. Richer and smoother than usual – surely the vintage speaking – but still subtle and nuanced, possessed of ample acidity and perfect balance. Starts off tasting of green apple- and lemon-flavoured rainwater, turns drier, quartzier and even a little bitter-herbal with a hint of paraffin lingering through the long finish. Beautiful Muscadet. The cork is long, usually a sign that a wine is ageable, and this one certainly is (the estate’s recommended drinking window is 2014–2017).

Though I didn’t take notes, I recently tasted the same producer’s 2010 Expression de Gneiss ($19.95, 10919150). Classic Muscadet, less weighty than the 2009 Orthogneiss (millésime oblige) yet every bit as pure and balanced: a tracery of minerals draped over waxy fruit and lit from within by glowing acidity. While the SAQ may spurn Muscadet’s other leading lights (most notably Domaine Luneau-Papin and Domaine de la Pépière), having regular access to Domaine de l’Écu’s three top cuvées is no small consolation.

See also The Rodney Dangerfield of Wines.

Written by carswell

August 19, 2012 at 11:09

2 Responses

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  1. Domaine de la Pépière is represented by Vinealis in Québec and three of their wines are currently available via the private import channel.


    August 20, 2012 at 09:53

    • Thanks for mentioning what I should have, Linda. My problem with the private import channel is finding enough takers to split a case of an underappreciated wine that none of us has tasted (in the current vintage, in my case). I just wish the wines were available through the SAQ — for Pépière’s and Vinealis’s sake as well as ours.


      August 20, 2012 at 16:17

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