2017 Domaine de L’Ecu, Muse, Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon, Vin de France, Loire Valley, France.
Fred Niger’s Domaine de L’Ecu, one of Muscadet’s top estates, Rosé “Muse” is a unique Loire pink made from all organic Cabernet Sauvignon that is 50% Saignee and 50% direct whole cluster pressed and aged in tank, making for a crisply dry Rosé, but with a more ripe profile and complexity of flavors from this cool Atlantic influenced terroir. While L’Ecu crafts traditional Melon de Bourgogne Muscadet’s, Niger is a committed Natural Wine producer, as his importer puts it, most notably, he pushes the envelope beyond traditional Muscadet and Melon de Bourgogne with his stunning non AOC line of VDF wines, impressive not in the least because they have no added sulfur and yet ring with a purity, vibrancy and clarity that defies what one thinks is possible with natural wines.
The Domaine de L’Ecu estate, certified biodynamic by Demeter in 1998, is one of France’s most innovative wineries and Fred Niger, who trained with the estate long time and pioneering previous owner, Guy Bossard, who made single terroir wines based on soil types and who like Nicholas Joly took his partnership with nature very seriously and spiritually, with Fred continuing it after taking over in 2012, produces Muscadets that have remarkable depth, precision, as well as ageability.
Beyond Muscadet, Niger makes a wide range of thrilling stuff including amphora raised Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Melon & Gamay and other things, as well as a fine sparkler, a rare Folle Blanche and of course this fun Rosé.
The 2017 Muse Rosé is dusty dry and eye poppingly zippy, but has lots of flavor with ripe details and tangy intensity showing vibrant sour cherries, watermelon, strawberry and grapefruit like citrusy notes adding mineral, wet stone, saline and herbal essences. The nose opens up and gives hints of rosewater and orange marmalade and the finish here is briskly tart and refreshing, allowing this Rosé to go with a lot of food options and it should age well too, it imagine. This is one of my favorite L’Ecu wines not a traditional white along with their amazing and beautiful whole cluster, amphora raised Pinot Noir “Ange” which is absolutely outrageous and maybe my favorite “Natural Wine” to date!
($19.50 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive