The River King: 2017 Huet Pre-arrival

Posted on: 06/26/18 12:01 PM


They’re like old friends at this point: Lemon, honey, wax, flowers, chamomile … the joys of Domaine Huet are singular and represent the best of Vouvray. Whether dry or nobly sweet, at their best they can be the most sublime wines of France; at their worst, youthful charmers opened far too young that tantalize in their future promise you have just now cut so horribly short.

Regarding this remarkable producer, each year we are always blunt in our advice: Buy these. Buy everything that you can. PERIOD.

From early reports 2017 looks very promising. “2017 has ended up being an exceptionally good vintage in terms of quality” reports Jancis Robinson. While Huet, like others in Vouvray, suffered from frost damage, the yields were 10% higher than last year (thank God). Even better, the weather was almost perfect for the rest of the growing season, leading to an early harvest. The wines are a touch richer and more concentrated than 2016, but also enjoy healthy acidity and balance. Lastly, with Mother Nature’s cooperation, the fruit came remarkably clean, with very little botrytis.

Don’t miss these spectacular beauties!

Le Haut-Lieu

2017 Sec “Le Haut-Lieu”
2017 Demi-Sec “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.”

Le Mont

2017 Sec “Le Mont”
2017 Demi-Sec “Le Mont”
2017 Moelleux “Le Mont”
2017 Moelleux 1ere Trie “Le Mont”

From Loire Expert Richard Kelley’s Vineyard Profile: “This eight hectare vineyard is situated below Le Haut Lieu, and abuts the vineyards of Philippe Foreau. It is positioned on the first coteaux, around two kilometres further to the east, although top soil here is more profound and the vines need to delve deeper to access the honeycomb coloured tuffeau. Le Mont is usually the last vineyard to be picked, regardless of the style of wine produced; its retarded ripening is reflected in the maturation of the wines as they are usually the last to open up, but are generally very long lived.”

Clos du Bourg

2017 Sec “Clos du Bourg”
2017 Demi-Sec “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