ABOUT: The Domaine de l'Ecu Virtus Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 is made by Fred Niger, who trained extensively with Guy Bossard (the “Pope of Muscadet”) before taking the reins in 2012. He’s been making crazy high quality biodynamically produced wine near Nantes ever since. For something unexpected, this stainless steel-aged Cabernet Sauvignon is part of a Vin de France project, a series of uncustomary wines made in the Loire. The other wines are a Cabernet Franc and the under-represented Chardonnay, love to see Loire Chardonnay in the world. L’Ecu may be known for outstanding Muscadet, but these Vdf wines have laid down their own tracks and hold their own.
TASTE: This is a fascinating and delicious rendition of a lighter style of Cabernet Sauvignon, complimented with a dash of a grape variety called Egiodola (translates to “pure blood”). The resulting blend has aromas and flavors of blackberries, cherries, fennel, black pepper, cigar and funky damp soil. What makes this wine so unique is its structure, light bodied and elegant with 11% alcohol, nothing like what you’d expect from 99.9% of Cabernet Sauvignon’s on the shelf. The tannins are finely integrated and the acidity comes in at a refreshing medium+. So tasty and food diverse, what a find!
PAIR: Chickpea tortilla soup, cacio e pepe arancini, fried artichoke hearts with marinara, pisto with a fried egg, sweet potato gratin with gruyere, and Chanterelle mushroom and fig brioche strata.