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.

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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.

    Linda

    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.

      carswell

      August 20, 2012 at 16:17


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