From: Burgundy, France
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Story: 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.