Domaine Huet Vouvray Sec Le Haut-Lieu 2019

95 Wine Advocate | 93 Wine Spectator

$32.97

Description

Country: France

Region: Vouvray, Loire

Variety: Chenin Blanc

Terroir: limestone-rich clay soils

Winemaking: traditional vinification methods are used and the wines are fermented using natural yeasts; the wines are aged in a combination of tank and large, older foudres

Victor Huet was a Parisian bistro owner, who after WWI, resettled in the town of Vouvray, located in France’s beautiful Loire Valley. He soon purchased his first vineyard, Le Haut-Lieu, and Domaine Huet was born. Victor’s son, Gaston took over the estate in 1937 and built the legacy over the next 55 years despite spending five years in a German POW camp during WWII!

Under the direction of Gaston, the estate prospered. He secured two additional prime vineyards on the Premiere Cote: Le Mont and Clos du Bourg. These two, along with Le Haut-Lieu are the reasons that Domaine Huet is often considered the greatest of all Vouvray producers.

The estate was joined by some important players as the years passed. In 1979 Jean-Bernard Berthome joined, first working in vineyards and then in the cellar as the right hand of Noel Pinguet, the talented son-in-law of Gaston. Then in 2002, a financial partner, Anthony Hwang, was brought into the partnership. Today, the estate is run by Benjamin Joliveau. Under his direction, along with a passionate and competent supporting crew, Domaine Huet is making its most consistently great wines. Certified biodynamic since 1993, Huet is achieving the highest level of transparency, purity, and balance.

The original Huet vineyard is nearly 9 hectares. It has the richest soils of the domaine’s three crus-a deep limestone-clay-and the wines are generally the estate’s most approachable. In some vintages, small quantities from nearby estate parcels may be added to Le Haut-Lieu. -Polaner Selections

Wine Advocate 95
The deep brown clay soils of the Haut-Lieu plateau provide the typical fruitiness and freshness wonderfully in Huet’s 2019 Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Sec. Ripe pear, tangerine and orange fruits with notes of lemon grass and green pimientos intertwined with very fine chalky and later tobacco notes give a remarkably fine, elegant and harmonious, subtly complex and simply gorgeous bouquet with floral (lime blossom!) and yeasty aromas that are immediately attractive. Delicate and linear on the palate, this is a pure, fresh, bone-dry, lean and textured, highly refined and perfectly interwoven Chenin with persistent purity, finesse, salty-mineral tension and very fine tannins. Highly finessed and so pure and vivacious! This is a chalky picture-book Haut-Lieu that can age for many years, even though it is already dangerously seductive! There was no dry Le Haut-Lieu produced in 2018, but the 2019 is possibly the finest, most delicate and elegant I’ve had in recent years, at least at this early stage. A terrific and buoyant Vouvray that any Chenin lover should try—or, better yet, cellar! 13% alcohol. 80,000 bottles made. Tasted in July 2020.

Wine Spectator 93
A subtle, dry version, with an undertow of sea salt beneath the ginger, honeycomb, cardamom, green fig and quince notes. A nice crunch adds to the crystalline structure, creating a firm backbone. Tempting now, but cellar this for several years. Best from 2023 through 2033.

Vinous 92
The 2019 Sec Le Haut-Lieu is classy, polished and simply impeccable. Soft, silky contours wrap around a core of peach and lemon confit fruit. The first impression is all about texture. White flowers, pear and white pepper are some of the nuances that emerge over time, adding complexity, while clean, minerally notes grace the exquisite finish.

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