2015 Domaine de L’Ecu, Folle Blanche “Marguerite” Vin de France, Loire Valley, France.
A unique estate 100% Folle Blanche, fermented and raised for 9 months in stainless steel tank on the lees with absolutely no sulfur additions, making for an intriguing, fresh and unique Loire Valley white from one of Muscadet’s best wineries, Fred Niger’s Domaine de L’Ecu. Folle Blanche, normally found in the Cognac region and used mostly as a fine brandy grape in both Armagnac, where is is regarded as the best for single varietal bottlings and in the blends of Cognac, with Colombard and Ugni Blanc. Interestingly, Fred uses his Folle Blanche in his (Cremant) Sparkling wine mainly as there is almost nobody that does a varietal Folle Blanche still wine anywhere, though my friend Bradley Gray, a wine PR professional, writer and a long time wine enthusiast, turned me on to some Louis Martini Folle Blanche in the nineties that was made from 100 year old vines and only available by request at the Martini tasting room on special times of the year when they were dumping end of vintage wines, it was a rare treat to taste that, though I fear now that particular vineyard is no more, if memory serves me. L’Ecu’s Folle Blanche Marguerite feels a bit skin contact like with a load of tanginess and a tide pool’s worth of briny seashore leading with it’s saline and oyster shell elements before revealing a light palate of racy green apple, lemon/lime and unripe tart peach, it’s a bright zesty unfiltered pale yellow (cloudy) white that is unique in a happily awkwardly/odd, but intriguing way. This is a very geeky wine that needs food to absorb it’s slightly sour tart profile, it’s severe on it’s own, it would be better with cuisine, I can see it going well with Chèvre and or intensely fresh small oysters and exotic sushi like Uni. This is not a crowd pleasure and will only appeal to the lovers of weirdness, but it’s well made and scratches an itch of a small niche of adventurers.
($28 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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