Domaine Maurice Ecard

There have been Ecards in Savigny since 1789, the current representative being Maurice, now aided by his three sons. He makes deeply-coloured, powerful reds that rank with the very best of the appellation (indeed Robert Parker thinks that Ecard's Serpentières is THE top wine in the village). In style, they are closer to Pommard than the traditional light, cherry and raspberry quaffers that characterises much Savigny. Ecard's wines age well, but are sufficiently fruity to drink young.

The secret is the quality of the vines: the average age is something like 40 years old, and replanting only occurs on an individual, vine by vine basis, using 'sélection massale'. All this means low yields of small, concentrated berries. In the winery, Ecard capitalises on these high skin-to-pulp ratios with a regime of elevated fermentation temperatures and lots of foot pigeage. Not surprisingly, the resultant wines are black and structured, with intense berry fruit on the nose and palate. The domaine also makes one white wine, a rare example of old vine burgundian Pinot Blanc, grown on the upper slopes of the 1er Cru Les Jarrons vineyard. This tastes like a top quality Chardonnay, but with lower acidity and an extra dose of spicy complexity.

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