2019 Domaine Huet, Vouvray Sec, Le Mont, Loire Valley, France.
One of France’s iconic wines, Domaine Huet Vouvray is always a treat when finds its way into your glass, and for me, especially the dry Sec style, like this gorgeously pure and crystalline Le Mont cru bottling that shows just how delicious these wines can be with fresh and vivid wild peach, melon, crisp apple and lemony fruits that shine with wet stone, steely mineral tones along with un-sweeten honeycomb, clove and a hint of herbs. The 2019 vintage looks set to be a classic with great fruit intensity, vivacious natural acidity and that cool chalk note from the prime terroir that this Le Mont vineyard site sits on, in the best of the Vouvray zone in this tranquil Loire Valley region that allowed both generations of Huet’s to overcome their war scares and produce some of the most beautiful Chenin Blancs ever produced. This wine, one of the last made under Jean-Bernard Berthomé, Gaston Huet’s long serving winemaker and cellar master, really captures the essence of this winery, the place and the history here. The Le Mont, is easy to spot as Huet, it couldn’t be anything else and I love the fine and dry detailing on this vintage, even though it can age, it is absolutely lovely young and fresh, proving itself an outstanding companion to sea food and or cheese. I have been lucky enough to taste through the full collection of Huet and more than a few occasions and while I gravitate to these drier style wines, there is a real thrill to try the fabled Cuvée Constance, a heaven late harvest Chenin that rivals the illustrious Chateau D’Yquem! This brilliant and saline infused Le Mont Sec saw a temperature-controlled fermentation in large, old oak demi-muids as well as stainless steel vats, with only partial lots going through malos, depending the vintage, and the wine was then blended and raised just under a year in the bigger format demi-muids.
Domaine Huet, originally founded back in 1928, is an iconic estate and Vouvray producer, it is renown for some of the world’s most compelling Chenin Blanc bottlings ever put in bottle with a complete range of styles, including some of the longest-lived off-dry and sweet versions, as well as brisk natured bone dry bottlings, like this gorgeous Le Mont Sec, that is always one of my favorites in the lineup. Domaine Huet was formed when Victor Huet purchased the” Le Haut Lieu” vineyard and started producing some of the greatest wines in France before the estate expanded in the mid-1950s, when the legendary Gaston, Victor’s son, added vineyards on the Première Côte, with this Le Mont site, with less clay and more stone, being purchased in 1957 and famed Clos du Bourg, which took a little longer to acquire, finally being added to the portfolio in 1963 after being farmed by Huet for a decade. Gaston Huet, who took Huet to new heights, was an early convert to biodynamics and became fully bio in 1990 and certified completely in 1993 with top enologist Jean-Bernard Berthomé leading the winemaker from 1979 to 2019, when he finally retired and turned the cellar over to his protégé Benjamin Joliveau, a Vouvray native who worked hand-in-hand with Jean-Bernard for the last decade, starting in 2009. This transition looks be be seamless and traditions under the American (brother and sister) pair of Sarah and Hugo Hwang looks secure and quality in the last 20 years since I started following has only gone up, if possible! Like I mentioned above I have had lots of experience with Huet, including some 50 plus year old cellar direct bottlings and I can tell you these 2019s are the real deal, and this Le Mont Sec is an insane value for the quality it displays. The 2019s look to have a long life ahead, they have brisk and youthful tightness, but the underlying concentration and ripeness, at 13.5%, bodes well for those that want to cellar them, these are as good as I’ve ever tasted from Huet at this stage.
($40 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive