Domaine Huet, Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Sec 2019
Domaine Huet, Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Sec 2019
Matthias Hilse 94 Punkte
Genussindex 19/20 Punkten Dieser Wein enthält Sulfite .
The Wine Advocate
"The deep brown clay soils of the Haut-Lieu plateau provide the typical fruitiness and freshness wonderfully in Huet's 2019 Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Sec. Ripe pear, tangerine and orange fruits with notes of lemon grass and green pimientos intertwined with very fine chalky and later tobacco notes give a remarkably fine, elegant and harmonious, subtly complex and simply gorgeous bouquet with floral (lime blossom!) and yeasty aromas that are immediately attractive. Delicate and linear on the palate, this is a pure, fresh, bone-dry, lean and textured, highly refined and perfectly interwoven Chenin with persistent purity, finesse, salty-mineral tension and very fine tannins. Highly finessed and so pure and vivacious! This is a chalky picture-book Haut-Lieu that can age for many years, even though it is already dangerously seductive! There was no dry Le Haut-Lieu produced in 2018, but the 2019 is possibly the finest, most delicate and elegant I've had in recent years, at least at this early stage. A terrific and buoyant Vouvray that any Chenin lover should try—or, better yet, cellar! 13% alcohol. 80,000 bottles made. Tasted in July 2020.
As readers know, I have been very enthusiastic about the generous 2018 series from Domaine Huet. The 2019 vintage, which was as sunny as 2018 but much drier, is completely different in style and yet is still another terrific vintage for the iconic Vouvray domain. Fans shouldn't miss the chance to buy some of the world's finest Chenin Blancs, which are still spectacularly moderate in price.
Although only four wines were produced in 2019—Le Mont is the only wine that was also produced as demi-sec, while the other two were only produced as sec—these are the finest, purest, most delicate yet also intense Vouvrays I have had from Huet in recent years. Namely, the high-toned, illuminating 2019 Le Haut-Lieu is fascinating in its purity and finesse as well as its filigreed, seriously long and salty character. Le Mont Sec, always my personal favorite among the Vouvrays from Huet due to the mineral tension and nerviness possibly caused by the silex stones in the tuff soils, comes in third for me this year. Still a great, tight, powerful and concentrated Chenin that makes Le Haut-Lieu a lightweight, the finish is—still?—slightly brittle and I'm not fully convinced yet that this will change with bottle age. The Le Mont Demi-Sec, however, is fabulously sublime! It is round and juicy but also very delicate and piquant and ropes in its delicate sweetness with fine tannins and persistent salinity. The 2019 Clos du Bourg is another stellar Chenin: ripe, deep, rich and complex yet also pure and vital, with great finesse and elegance and an impressive finish. The 2019 is probably the most amazing Clos de Bourg I have tasted as a young wine!
In their own vintage report, the domain writes that the lack of water was "terrible" in 2019. "A scorching summer accentuated the desiccation of the plant. In order to mitigate the effects of these extreme conditions and bring some comfort to our vines, we applied the French adage 'un binage vaut deux arrosages,' one hoeing is worth two waterings. We regularly worked the soil in order to avoid evaporation of water, preserve the plant's food, and limit its stress." In the end, the grapes reached full maturity. "Our meticulous work at harvest enabled us to obtain juice of great purity," which was used for the production of base wine for pétillant as well as for the four terroir wines. However, the concentrated grapes didn't provide the balance necessary for the production of sweet wines. Due to the drought, not only was the vegetative growth affected, but the plant's photosynthesis performance also decreased as the roots searched for water...
Here is what the domain writes regarding the season: "The story of this vintage comes to life at the time of winter pruning. Curved over the vine, we sculpt the vine, leaving only four arms per plant and two eyes per spur, a pruning method called 'goblet.' With a keen eye, we select the branches that will support the 2019 harvest. Marked by mildness, winter 2018/2019 looked like spring. After a month of January in line with the season but without a real cold spike, February recorded record high temperatures, and we noted a rainfall deficit of around 30% compared to seasonal norms.
“The pruning of the vines went smoothly and was facilitated by a beautiful light; we reserved for March the pruning of the vines planted in frost-sensitive areas... As in recent years, the risk of spring frost was very present in April. With our eyes on the thermometer, the night of April 4 seemed endless; the previous day's weather forecast forebode another catastrophic year. But against all odds, Mother Nature graced us with 0 degrees Celsius at sunrise, -2 degrees Celsius an hour prior, and the 2019 harvest was temporarily saved.
“Spring set in without an excess of rain nor temperatures, allowing an excellent exchange between the vine and its terrestrial and celestial environment. To the rhythm of Maria Thun's sowing schedule and the addition of homemade compost, we helped the vines find the strength to fight parasites and disease, and remain in symbiosis with the other plants in their environment. The deficit of precipitation from the month of February continued.
“The summer of 2019 brought hot weather, with a first heat wave in late June and a second in late July. The reserves of water that had accumulated in our tuffeau soils during the winter dwindled without further rain, and the water ran out. To mitigate the effects of these conditions and bring a little comfort to our vines, we regularly worked the soils to avoid water evaporation and preserve the plants' nourishment. Thus, the smallest drops of water, however few that they were, directly benefited the roots, and we limited the summer water stress.
” As they say in Europe, and certainly also in Vouvray: September makes the harvest. This was true again last year as well, "as the maturity of the grapes arrived in this decisive month." The harvest started on September 23, after the clouds in August had settled permanently over the vines, dimming the light of the sun. "More than ever before, the sorting table worked wonders. It helped us to refine the selection of grapes each day, ensuring that only the best bunches were received at the press. The rain came on the full moon of October 13, just after the harvest had ended."
After 2018, 2019 is another qualitatively great vintage for Huet, even though the series includes only four wines. If you are a collector, you shouldn't miss the 2019s, but hurry up, quantities are much less generous than in 2018."
Stephan Reinhardt 95 Punkte
ErzeugerDomaine Huet - L'Echansonne
11 Rue de la Croix Buisée
FR - 37210 Vouvray