John Paul Kaminga
Focus: Huet Le Haut Lieu Sec 2019
There's no bigger name in the Loire than Domaine Huet. Every time I taste a bottle there is great anticipation, yet Huet has never let me down. I have, however, known these wines only after the estate was purchased in 2002 by Anthony Hwang, an American who also went on to purchase one of the the great estates of Tokaji, Kiralyudvar. The reputation of Huet was huge before Hwang's purchase, but most agree that the level of consistency has greatly increased since then, and that the wines are probably the best ever made there.
Domaine Huet was founded in 1928 and began with the acquisition of Le Haut Lieu, on Vouvray's Premiere Cote, where the majority of the region's best vineyards are found. Over the years they acquired two more of Vouvray's most storied sites, Le Mont and the Clos du Bourg. Le Haut Lieu has heavy clay soils and is known for making the most supple and fruity wines of Huet, while Le Mont has stonier soils and is known for intense cut and minerality. One could say that the Clos du Bourg is the most complete of the range, combining the best attributes of its siblings. In any given vintage Huet makes a variety of wines, sometimes up to four different wines from each vineyard, varying in levels of sweetness.
The 2019 vintage was notable for Huet, both because quality was extraordinary, but also because they made no sweet wines, just three dry (sec) wines and one off-dry (demi-sec) wine. Today we're offering a reduced price on the 2019 Le Haut Lieu Sec, an instant classic. This is a wine to impress a most discerning connoisseur and neophyte alike. If you have not yet experienced great dry Vouvray, take this opportunity.
Domaine Huet Vouvray Sec 'Le Haut Lieu' 2019 - $36 (reg. $40)
Brilliant dry Chenin Blanc. Aromas of citrus blossom, desiccated autumn meadow, quince, peach, diverse citrus, tropical fruits... very juicy and supple for serious dry Chenin, it is thick and ripe but there's a dominating core of acidity, light tannins, subtle bitterness, and intense chalky minerality, so its overall character is fresh and bone dry. The finish is focused on layers of fruit, but there's spicy, herbal and mineral character to spare, lending immense complexity and length. One could opt to drink it young and primary, but this will surely be worth following for another decade or so, and may become a lot more interesting as the primary fruit fades... I really love its present juiciness, and would highly recommend trying one soon.
As always, this wine will mix and match with others to receive 10% off 6 bottles or 12% off 12 bottles. We focused on the 2019 Le Haut Lieu because it is such a fabulous deal and is probably the most accessible wine in the range, but we a few other Huets in stock: 2019 Clos du Bourg Sec ($45), 2020 Clos du Bourg Demi-Sec ($49) and 2020 Clos du Bourg Moelleux 1er Trie (very sweet, this is a wine to save up to 50 years, $67). There more Huet wines available, so please inquire if there are any specific cuvees that you desire.