REDUX: Legendary: 1947, 1959 and now 2018 – The Unmissable 2018 Huet Release

Posted on: 08/20/19 3:56 PM

***I suppose everyone wants Secs. But, trust us, while these are great wines, in profound vintages, it’s the Demis and Moelleux that demand attention. Having had the opportunity to taste through a thorough range of them, I can honestly say that you should be socking away cases and cases of the 2018s for you collection. For that reason we are reoffering the Demis and Moelleux. If you trust us on anything, trust us on this. These will age for DECADES. If you have an important life event in 2018 and want to cellar a wine to mark the occasion, this is a sensible option that won’t cost you hundreds or thousands. My son was born last year, he will have cases of Huet to welcome to adulthood and accompany him for decades thereafter. – ITH, Wine Director

Considered one of the most sacred of all Loire estates, Domaine Huet is poised to deliver their most memorable off-dry vintages in decades. Their 2018 release of off-dry and sweet wines are being compared by many to the legendary 1947 and 1959 vintages – and the excitement could not be higher.

Huet wines are some of France’s – perhaps the world’s – longest-lasting whites, with bottles from the 1940’s still drinking beautifully now. Even the oldest Loire growers can’t remember a vintage like 2018. Summer was hot (temperatures reached record highs) but, more importantly, the growing season had no major setbacks. This means no frost, no hail and very little disease/pest pressure during harvest. This is particularly important for growers like Huet and their off-dry/sweet wines. By leaving their crop out longer (to accumulate more sugar), growers run a far larger risk with their fruit than those who harvest early.

For Huet, a historic early adopter to organic viticulture, the risk is even greater. Ripening grapes free of synthetic pesticides can be sitting ducks for every pest and disease imaginable and every passing day is another gamble with mother nature to stay at bay. Even after harvest, sweet must loaded with high amounts of sugar (and a higher pH) can invite a mind-boggling array of micro-organisms and bacteria to spoil the juice. It takes a lucky accumulation of perfect moves in the vineyard and in the cellar for something extraordinary like this to happen. Thankfully in 2018 it did. Dense, ripe–and most importantly, healthy fruit yielded legendary sweet/off-dry wines from this very special estate.

2018 Demi-Sec “Le Haut-Lieu”
2018 Moelleux “Le Haut-Lieu”
2018 Moelleux 1ere Trie “Le Haut-Lieu”

From Loire Expert Richard Kelley’s Vineyard Profile: “The Le Haut Lieu itself consists of 3 to 4 metres of heavy clay soil mixed with chalk, known locally as aubuis, which lies over a bed of limestone. It is the limestone subsoil that proves to be the constant link between the three vineyards owned by Huet, and it is the vines proximity to the porous, yellow tuffeau that is responsible for the overriding style of wines produced from each of the sites. … Of the three sites, Le Haut Lieu tends to offer the most precocious of wines, regardless of their style or sweetness, although this should be seen a relative statement, given that they are still capable of lasting many decades.”

2018 Moelleux “Clos du Bourg”
2018 Moelleux 1ere Trie “Clos du Bourg”

Our note: This vineyard is a harmonious marriage of its two siblings. Intermixed with marls, chalk, clay and tuffeau, Clos du Bourg produces the most harmonious of the 3 wines, combining the best of Le Haut-Lieu’s opulence and Le Mont’s steely focus.

Posted in Daily Flash By Tim Sellon