2014 Domaine de l’Écu, Cabernet Franc “Mephisto” Vin de France, Loire Valley, France.
The wild Fred Niger amphora raised Cabernet Franc Mephisto Rouge is a thrill ride of deep red flavors that takes your palate on journey to some dark and mysterious places, be afraid, very afraid, there’s no undoing of the magic that happens here, I adore this amazing expression of Cab Franc, it has a tremendous presence and purity, kind of like Breton or Olga Raffault Chinon meets COS or Foradori! Wow… Geezus! This energy filled red is mind blowing, all biodynamic Loire Franc, is gripping with ripe tannic structure, vivid acidity and striking mineralite to go with ultra lengthy fruit dynamism that entrances your senses! All natural, almost no sulfur, and with native yeast ferments, macerated and aged in clay pots (okay, I mean Ampforae) Fred’s Mesphisto is one of the best so called “Natural Wines” I’ve tasted, it shows a complexity that is hard to translate in mere words, but easily understood by Loire fans. Beautiful earthy character along with heightened detail define this unique red, it’s deep garnet color is complimented by layers of mulberry, tangy dark currant, morello cherry, plum and black raspberry fruits, hints of bell pepper, violets, sandalwood, raw leather and warm terra-cotta (or were those imagined?) as well as forest mushrooms and granite/stony elements. The finish goes on and on, this wine gives many a Bordeaux and Burgundy wine a run for the money, celebrate to funky weirdness and marvel at the class in the glass. Imported by Floraison Selections, Oakland California, don’t forget Fred Niger’s regular line of beautiful Muscadet, they are some of the best out there. This wine is fascinating and has sensual charm, it should age with utter enthusiasm and grace, I was left spellbound!
($35 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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