The Domaine de L’Ecotard (Ecotard Estate) is in Arthannes-sur-Thouet, 2 km from Saumur. Ecotard estate has 3 ha of vineyard and were founded by Michel Chevré while he was still the viticulturist for Thierry Germain.
The first vintages were vinified and commercialised via Thierry Germain, whose talents are well known, and who wished to aid Michel Chevré who, after many years at his estate, had notably worked to convert the vines to organics in 2002 and to create the wine "L'Insolite", a parcel of Chenin blanc. In creating the Domaine de l’Ecotard, Michel Chevré carefully applied the same methods as Thierry Germain by being as demanding as possible, and it was a success. On this small estate of 3 ha, Michel Chevré succeeded in producing 3 Chenin blanc of such quality as to be considered amongst the finest white wines of the Loire. The "La Haie Nardin" (sandy clay), the "Clos de l'Ecotard" (planted at 8,000 vines/ha and aged in different barrels and stone vessels) and "Les Pentes" (a hillside of limestone outcrops) are amongst the finest whites of Saumur. He vinifies these "haute couture" Saumur wines with the help of his son Thibaud and we've yet to hear the end of the "Clos de l’Ecotard". Made from mature Chenin planted on a limestone hill southernly exposed and farmed organically it is aged in barrel for 1 year. The ever-changing complex nose is marked by mirabelle, quince, toast with a certain minerality. It's unctuous and lively, full, distinguished and chalky. The long finish ends on a smoky note and a light bitterness. A great wine to be consumed between 4 and 8 years. "Les Pentes" of the Domaine de l’Ecotard, next of their range, is mineral, precise and tightly wound. The vines are planted on a hillside of limestone outcrops. No barrel for this wine that shines by its precision and mineral freshness, with an impressive nose of smoke, gunflint, citrus and flowers. It's a large wine, powerful yet chiseled, that finishes fresh and salty. "La Haie Nardin" from Ecotard Estate is the latest wine produced by Thibaud, aided by his father, who is slowly passing him the baton. The wine, which comes from sandy-clay soils, is a pure and generous Chenin whose nose explodes with notes of juicy fruits and citrus with a hint of aniseed. It's dynamic and fresh, full-bodied and pure with a salivating finish. All great whites to recommend.
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