Domaine Huet is the preeminent winery in Vouvray. Hands down. We recently received our allocation of Huet for the year, and I’ve selected Le Haut-Lieu Demi-Sec for my Collecting with Kev wine of the month. This is the best chenin blanc you’re ever going to put in your mouth. It’s racy yet creamy. A razor mineral edge is offset by a slight touch of sweetness. Its fruit shows early, and it could be opened upon release, or (and this is where sugar plays a role in the aging process) you could hold onto it for 15 years.
Created in 1928 by Victor Huet, Domaine Huet was one of the first wineries in the Loire to fully embrace biodynamic farming practices. The current winemaker, Jean-Bernard Berthomé, champions transparency in the vineyard and in the cellar. His wines are pure, generous, & consistently great. They’re reminiscent of superb riesling, or even Champagne, with an acid mineral drive offset by a slight touch of sweetness.
Jean-Bernard believes that great wine starts with great fruit, and Le Haut-Lieu parcel is home to nearly all of the vineyard’s grand cru vineyards. The deep limestone clay soils impart that Champagne-like acid and offer great depth and longevity.
The wine is brightly defined and creamy with notes of nectarine, green apple, pear, and honeysuckle. It’s backed by an off-dry edge but finishes more acid than it does sweet. Domaine Huet is one of the more versatile whites when it comes to pairing with food, going well with pork, poultry, rich vegetable dishes, scallops, meaty fish, & most any cheese.
Like I said, Le Haut-Lieu is drinking beautifully right now. If you have the discipline to hold onto a couple bottles, they will only improve with age, thanks to the touch of residual sugar left unfermented in the wine. Sugar is one of three major components to aging wine, the other two being acid and tannin. The three building blocks contribute to what we call “well-structured wine,” and those of Domaine Huet are put together with such fine materials, by such capable hands, that they remind me of the immaculate châteaux da la Loire. Open Le Haut-Lieu today and discover something majestic & decadent, not unlike the striking Château de Chambord. Let it age and you’ll find that the wine has revealed great length and grace, perhaps more comparable to Château de Chenonceau. Drink now through 2032.
Domaine Huet Le Haut-Lieu
Vouvray, Loire Valley, France