2013 Domaine de L’Ecu, Muscadet Sevre et Maine “Taurus” Loire Valley, France.
Fred Niger’s Taurus is his tank and barrel raised estate 100% Melon de Bourgogne lees aged Muscadet Sevre et Maine and it is one of the most interesting whites I’ve tried this year,  with it’s amazing vitality and glorious textural quality. Domaine de L’Ecu makes some of the best regional wines in Muscadet and this one was aged 24 months, 12 months in stainless steel tank and then transferred to used Burgundy barrels for another year, it gives the wine a fuller presence and mouth feel, it is somewhere between a topped up extended aged Savagnin from the Jura and a pretty Saint-Aubin white Burgundy to give a reference point idea of what this lovely bright yellowish/golden white is like. The layers are satiny, but with fine definition and a nice cut of acidity showing apple, quince and lemony fruit tones along with classic saline, oyster shells and wet stones. It gains delicate complexity with air and even with the wonderful feel it stays brisk and cooly minerally crisp. Hints of briny seashore, verbena, sunflower seed oil, snappy herbs and white pepper add to the contrast from it’s leesy glycerin (creaminess) that is similar in flavor to a grower producer Champagne, without the mousse (bubbles) of course making for a stunning alternative white wine that has sublime class. This is a wine that love old world wines, it is for those that buy Cru Sancerre or Puilly-Fume, this is a wine that shows an oak subtly and very dry extract.
($42 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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