Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Sec 2007
Domaine Huet is probably the leading domaine in Vouvray, itself a leading region in France’s Loire Valley. These wines are legendary for many, which is interesting given that many ‘legendary’ french wines tend to have much more history than this domaine, which was founded just after the first world war with its Le Haut Lieu vineyard. Today, Huet has acquired two more important vineyards, Le Mont and Clos du Bourg. Each of these vineyards is turned into three different wines, varrying by the amount of residual sugar in the wine: the sec, demi-sec, and Moelleux.
Huet picks everything by hand, and uses five “tries” or passes when selecting grapes. In good years the “Premier Trie” becomes its own wine, often hailed as some of the best Chenin in the world. Each wine is made with grapes selected from vines ranging in age from 10 to 50 years, with the old vines comprising approximately half of most of the blends.
After harvest the wines undergo temperature-controlled fermentation in 225 and 600 litre oak barrels as well as 3000 litre stainless steel vats. The oak is definitely detectable on the palate of the wines, though it is quite subtle and, given the outrageous acidity in most of these bottles, it merely adds structure and depth rather than any dominant characteristics. The wines are racked and sulphured to arrest fermentation when the sugar and alcohol are correctly balanced. In order to maintain freshness there is no malolactic fermentation . Importantly, it is not through vinification, but rather through site that Huet looks to express differentiation in its wines.
This wine gave up quite a dense nose with quince, nuts, lemon and cream. I found the lemon and quince characteristics continued on the palate, but there was also apple, minerals, roots and licorice. The wine is quite viscous for a chenin and I love this density, which is offset perfectly by the wine’s high acidity. This is of medium weight in the mouth and very layered with good length. While this “Sec” had 8 grams per litre of residual sugar I thought this was quite refreshing while also being a full and complete wine. This truly is an exceptional value and lives up to the reputation of this storied producer. Labeled with a Demeter biodynamic classification. Perfect for Japanese food. 13% ABV.
$35 at Marquis Wine Cellars