TN: 2011 Domaine Huet - Vouvray Sec "Le Mont" (France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray)

2011 Domaine Huet Vouvray Sec Le Mont - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray (7/13/2015)
– popped and poured –
– tasted non-blind over three+ hours –

NOSE: initially tight; wine-y pear aroma –Bosc pear/pears in simple syrup; a bit “green” and very light hint of powder; remained fairly tight three hours in.

BODY: tan-yellow color of medium-light to medium depth; medium-light to medium bodied.

TASTE: pears; gentle mineral; unsalted peanuts; medium to medium+ acidity; medium+ richness of fruit flavor; seems to be dry, but the richness of fruit does trick me into thinking there may be a hint of r.s. here; 13.5% alc. well-hidden; better than what I was expecting after having read reports of others on this wine; drinks fine now, but probably best to let these lay in the cellar for a bit.

50, 5, 11, 17, 7 = (90+ pts.)

Not to hijack your thread, Brian… but is there any consensus on how Huet is doing after the departure of Noel Pinguet, versus the estate having a string of challenging vintages since then?

There’s been nothing but mediocre vintages since he left, so the jury’s still out to see what they can do in an excellent vintage, but they’ve been solid with the conditions they’ve been handed by mother nature.

It’s weird, I neither see much discussion of Huet nor see bottles on retail shelves the last year or two. I really got into the 10s and 11s, and I still enjoy them, but I kind of feel like they’ve fallen off the radar recently, I guess because of that ugly episode with the wine writer, the change of ownership, and I guess some less exciting vintages.

Ugly episodes aside…

It’s fascinating to me to read of how the 2011s are coming along. It was a really weird vintage, with a very warm spring, cool summer and very warm autumn. As the autumn heat arrived the vines raced ahead with sugar production but the phenolic a seemed to lag behind, reflecting the cooler summer, so the earlier-picked (i.e. Sec) wines in many I have tasted tend to show a clunky imbalance with good sugar ripeness but greener fruit. As the warm weather continued the phenolic ripeness got going and the weather stayed good so there was an opportunity to make sweet wines with great balance and sweetness. So although on the whole 11-12-13 are all mediocre there are some fabulous sweet wines in 2011, from (off the top of my head) Francois Pinon, Philippe Foreau (including a Goutte d’Or - only the third vintage ever), Vincent Careme and no doubt others.

One of the reason Huet have fallen from view a little is these recent vintages have produced much smaller volumes and there hasn’t been the need to push them so hard and achieve wide distribution - the domaine sold out of these vintages as far as I know. For example, the domaine went without an official agent in the UK for a year or two as there was simply no need to seek a new partner. They now have a new agent in Armit Wines who seems to be doing a great job in getting them back into the market.

The 2013s, by the way, despite the difficult vintage, are pretty good, certainly a big step up from the 2012s. I haven’t tasted the 2014s yet but hope to do so later this year.

Thanks for the note on the '11. I have loved Huet over the years, especially the drier Sec wines. I hope they can bounce back, assuming Mother Nature co-operates.

On the recent history/changes, does anyone have a link to a good summary of this activity?

Also, top choices for other sec Vouvrays?