94 Insider Points
Very Good - Wine Enthusiast
Terroir, shown no better than in Burgundy. This light yet powerful Pinot Noir shows its sense of place well. A complex nose invokes pleasant berry and flower scents, leading into a puckery mouthfeel of mellow acids and light, red fruits. The flavors hang in the finish and pull you back for more. A wine to show your friends. 94 Points - JZ September '17
"Fresh and fruity, this wine is all about red-currant fruitiness. It has only light tannins and plenty of juicy acidity. Drink from 2018." - Wine Enthusiast
Top 1er cru vineyard and from a micro-operation lead by husband-and-wife Michel and Joanna Ecard. These two dedicated vignerons are quietly garnering lots of excitement locally and with the international wine trade, too.
“I found a lot to like here: well-crafted, personable wines that show Savigny at its best…They are worth hunting down,” writes the Wine Advocate. Our Panel found a lot to like, too, enjoying this red Burgundy so much, they vowed to bring in as many of Ecard’s small-production wines as was humanly possible!
Fruit is hand harvested from “Les Gravains,” which is one of this AOC’s prime vineyards. The soil here is rich in gravel, and the Pinot Noir grapes that ripen here are typically spicy and elegant. Ecard presses fruit for this and for all their wines in an old-fashioned wooden press and ages their Les Gravains in French oak barrels (about half new) to round out this graceful and lithe Burgundy, which shows bright cherry and crisp berry fruit finished with a touch of exotic spice and plenty of food-friendly acidity.
Farming just 12 acres over a handful of vineyards in the Cote de Beaune, it’s unlikely that Ecard will be catapulted into the limelight any time soon. These guys are just too tiny to compete with the big big names of Burgundy. But it is just this domaine’s diminutive size that makes it so appealing and allows Ecard to focus its great strengths on every last bottle.
Reasons why we love it:
- Proprietor Michel Ecard learned about grape growing and viticulture from his father, Maurice Ecard—one of Savigny’s most highly regarded vigneron right up until the point of his retirement.
- This small domaine practices a version of sustainability called “lute raisonée” in which pesticides and herbicides are avoided and only indigenous yeasts (as opposed to commercially procured ones) are used in fermentation. Additionally, Ecard employs almost no sulfur, and all wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.
- The 2014 vintage earned 90 points from the Wine Enthusiast for red Beaune wines.
- Savigny-lés-Beaune includes an impressive 22 “climats” awarded 1er Cru status, and yet this southern AOC in Burgundy remains full of values compared to pricier Cote de Nuits appellations.
A delicate and elegant wine. On the nose, characteristic aromas of spice and violet, mingled with wild blackberry. On the palate, refined and supple. Persistent aftertaste, with delicious and subtle flavours that linger on for quite a long time.
2005 was an auspicious year for Michel Ecard. Not only was it a remarkable vintage for Burgundy, but also it was his first vintage, independent from the family domaine. His father, Maurice Ecard retired in 2005. Yet as is all too often the case in Burgundy, the shift from one generation to another can be less than smooth. Rather than struggle with siblings over vineyard rights, Michel decided to pursue his dream on his own.
Yet the tradition of the family Ecard is very much alive and well. With a lifetime of winemaking experience at his father's side in Savigny, not to mention stints at wineries around the world, Michel Ecard has more than ably continued his father's great legacy, crafting wines that honor his style and touch with Pinot Noir. Tastings their wines side by side, you'd be hard-pressed to identify which cuvee belonged to whom. The passion, the precision, and the purity of Savigny is all there. Today Ecard and his wife, Joanna, are a two-person winery, crafting all their wines by hand. His vineyards (owned by his uncle) are as well placed as his father's, if not potentially better tended as these plots contain on average older vines, and exposures as well as soils are ideal.
All wines are gravity bottled, and you'll find but a trace of sulfur in Ecard Burgundy. Michel Ecard wines, like his father's, are incredibly natural, each cuvee tastes as if the grapes were just picked. And considering what little sulfur he adds, their cellar life is more than impressive. Ecard always keeps a few older vintages of "Serpentieres" on hand (cuvees he made side-by-side with his dad), just to show people the potential of Savigny. Yet there's even more potential now that Michel is on the scene by continuing the great tradition of Ecard wines, yet raising the bar even higher.
Perfect with just about anything put in front of us, or nothing, from seared salmon to grilled filet mignon; havarti, edam, and gruyère cheeses included.