TN: Huet Fete V: 1924-1959. (With pics.)

The main event for Jeff and Dena Morris’s visit was a Huet-a-thon held on Saturday. This is the fifth event I’ve been fortunate to be a part of and, for this one, we decided to focus on some of the older vintages. Well, to paraphrase Forrest Gump, whenever you deal with older wines, you never know what you’re gonna get. Sadly, much like at Huet Fete IV, held four years ago, about half the wines didn’t show well. It comes with the territory, but it certainly doesn’t make it any easier, especially when we love the wines as much as this group does. Still, a number of the wines showed beautifully and it was an informative and fun dinner with a great group of people.

A starter ordered off the list.

  • 2010 Domaine Huet Vouvray Pétillant Cuvée Huet Brut - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray Pétillant
    Brioche and mineral aromas carry the nose while quince, citrus and mineral flavors dance on the palate. Crisp and invigorating with a fine bead. There’s a lovely bitter pith note on the finish. A great way to get the evening started. A-.

With foie gras and brioche toast.

  • 1924 Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux Le Haut-Lieu - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray
    What a way to start! A stunning bottle and easily the best showing of the four times I’ve been fortunate enough to try this wine. Ironically, this was actually made by the previous owner of the domaine as Huet didn’t buy the property until 1928, with their first vintage being the 1929. Be that as it may, it’s a brilliant wine. It’s a deep gold color that’s lighter than the botrytis influenced '47. Truly enticing aromas of marzipan, marmalade, apricot, tea and herbs. At over 90 years of age, it’s an incredibly youthful and fresh wine with vivacious acidity providing vitality and making the ample sweetness seem a little less sweet. The fruit profile here is also a more youthful yellow in profile compared to the other wines, with yellow plums, sweet quince, marmalade, rhuburb and herbs. Perhaps there’s a little bit of a trail off on the finish, but this is a remarkably lively and complete wine. Solid A.

With lobster, parsnip, guanciale and black garlic beurre blanc.

  • 1953 Domaine Huet Vouvray Demi-Sec Le Mont - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray
    I’ve had much better showings of this wine, but at this age, it’s all about the bottle. The wine still has its solid acidic spine, but it lacks the flesh and fruit of the '24 and what it normally shows, to stand up to it. It reveals traditional aged Chenin flavors and aromas of quince paste, apricot, tea and bergamot, but the fruit is mostly upfront and doesn’t really carry through to the middle or finish. The finish is also drying. Maybe sounding a little more dour than what was in the glass, but it’s tough to get the previous bottles out of my head. B+.
  • 1939 Domaine Huet Vouvray Demi-Sec Le Haut-Lieu - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray
    Of all the wines in the tasting, this was the one I was most looking forward to as I had never had it before. Alas, it turned out to be more of an intellectual curiosity. A rare bottle because the vintage was poor, so not a lot of wine was made, this really is more of a fragile acidic shell of a wine. Precious little fruit left, though there’s still a touch of quince paste showing. It shows sherry qualities with the oxidation and the acids are sharp and underripe. Still, a treat to try to get the data point, especially given current pricing. B-.

With sweetbreads, potato, hedgehog mushroom and mole jus.

  • 1959 Domaine Huet Vouvray Demi-Sec Le Haut-Lieu - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray
    Unfortunately, a flawed bottle as it’s dominated by fungal flavors and aromas with plastic overtones. A shame as it’s been awhile since I last had the '59 Demi and I was looking forward to the check in. NR (flawed)
  • 1949 Domaine Huet Vouvray Demi-Sec Le Haut-Lieu - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray
    I was really looking forward to the fact that half the bottles in the tasting were Demi-Secs, but, unfortunately, for the most part they were a bust! This bottle, sadly, was corked. NR (flawed)

With cheese.

  • 1959 Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux Clos du Bourg - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray
    I’ve had this wine quite a number of times over the years and it’s maddening because one never knows what one is going to get. On many occasions, the wine has shown brilliantly, but there have been far too many times when the wine has been corked. Unfortunately, tca reared its ugly head tonight. NR (flawed)
  • 1949 Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux Le Haut-Lieu - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray
    While a nice showing, this couldn’t match the bottle I opened just over six years ago. Aromatically, it’s lovely, showing marzipan, candied citrus peel, desiccated apricot and tea, but on the palate the wine is a bit lean and the fruit seems to be tiring. The acidity is still lively, but this bottle lacks the fruit levels and the sweetness that previous bottles have shown and the finish does thin out. Low A-.
  • 1947 Domaine Huet Vouvray Moelleux Le Haut-Lieu - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray
    An excellent showing for this legendary wine, though just a little off from its highest high. Certainly the most distinctive wine of the evening with its deep bronze color and intense sweetness. The wine bursts with a riot of ripe apricot, yellow plum preserves, honey, tea and botrytis aromas on the nose and palate. Rich and layered, it’s perhaps a smidge less complex than the top examples that I’ve had and it seems like the botrytis has more of an imprint here. Terrific acids handle the sugar nicely. I first had this wine 18 years ago and it’s been fun watching the evolution since then. Back in the day, we’d always comment that this was an immortal wine, but this bottle is actually showing signs that, after nearly 70 years, there is just starting to be a trace of fatigue to the fruit and the finish, while long, isn’t quite as smooth or as extended as it used to be. There’s certainly no rush here, but there is definite evidence that it may have finally moved just past peak. A+/A.

Other pics from the evening.

The group.

The lineup.

Posted from CellarTracker

There’s only “good bottles” with older wine… Wonder how they would have been under screwcap :slight_smile:! Lovely notes thanks.

Great notes and photos Brad! We both love Vouvray, BUT I was disappointed to read of so many ‘off’ bottles.

Opened a sublime bottle of 1978 Vouvray this evening… :wink:

Geezus, this was the Vouvray equivalent to the Hall of Fame Legends or the Old Timers Game.