Bright tulip color. Classic quince aromas with a whiff of honey. Very, very tight and dry before it began to unfold with 30 minutes of air. Medium weight, and as I've noted before, a texture that is a like a synthesis of Vouvray and Savennieres or Saumur (which is to say more earthy than Chenin Blanc from the east of Tours). Slightly glossy entry of pear joined by sharp citrus (grapefruit?), and then a headspinning finish of acidity and minerality. This shows NO residual sugar. This particular bottle was probably the freshest and most vigorous of some 8 or 9 tasted over the years. I dunno-people keep finding oxidized bottles of 2002 Huet, and I keep drinking and enjoying them. I can only hope that my luck doesn't run out.
Well-cured, acidic (duh), smidgen of caramel, color tending towards amber. I wouldn't say it's over the hill, but I'm learning that the secs are quite stern at this age, lacking the bump in roundness and charm that a dose of residual sugar confers. I won't be making any effort to hold these longer, in any event. Much, much better enjoyed with a hearty meal than sipped alone - these are knife-and-fork wines par excellence, and have the body to stand up to sturdy fare.
Having read several reports from NY about premoxed '02s from Huet, I laid on a substitute bottle. The quite deep but limpid gold colour did not reassure but the initially subdued but clean nose of wax, white fruit and mineral notes did. The medium+ bodied and not bone dry palate grew progressively more expressive and complex as the wine took air and warmed up from an initial 10-11°C. It was hard to pin down which white fruit notes were present, I caught hints of citrus, passion fruit, apple and pineapple, nor could I narrow down the minerals but there were definite hints of honey and wax together with brilliant mouth watering acidity leading to a subjectively dry impression. The superbly long finish was supported by a slightly saline backbone. Excellent.
This bottle was in good shape. Relative to the demi-sec (when good), it has a much more steamlined profile, with ample Chenin acidity, but smoothed into a more nuanced, discreet package, quite refined, and a great pleasure to drink, alone or - even better - with food. A very fine wine, it the oxidation lottery favors the bottle in your hand.
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(Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Sec) Poured from a half bottle, this has a vibrant yellow-gold hue, still very clean and bright, rich in terms of depth of colour but not overly so. Wines that are just too gold suggest excessive age or even oxidation, but there are no such thoughts here (the same can't be said of much white Burgundy, sadly); this wine still appears very youthful despite its ten years. I find great, reassurring minerality on the nose, crunchy and intense, pure with the flesh of lemon and pear fruit wrapped around its stony core. Then it segues very nicely into a really pure, liquid-stone character. This is beautifully pure and lifted, minerally with great depth and grip, with a full and gentle flesh. Underneath though it is really quite energetic and charged, lifted by all that invigorating lemony pear-skin. And it is very long too. This is delicious now, but there is still massive potential here - this has years ahead of it yet. Burgundy, eat your heart out. Alcohol 12.5%.
(Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Sec) Predominantly mineral aromas on the nose, like crumbled, chalky rocks - a terroir note perhaps - with a touch of classic wet wool to round it out. A faint tingle of dissolved carbon dioxide on entry. Otherwise it's round, mouthfilling, but very bright and minerally on the palate. Quite rich, but cut through by a firm citrus acidity. Clearly shows the quality of the 2002 vintage.
(Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Sec) From half bottles. I last opened one of these very early this year, and it was a delight, showing great definition and delightfully invigorating fruit. Here today it seems more sullen, and although all the same fruit richness and grip can be perceived, it is certainly more reticent. The aromatics hide behind a little stalky, woody note, and it lacks the freshness I found previously. Work it though, and give it time, and the aromatics come out. The nose is full of golden-minerally fruit, pear-skin, sweetly desiccated, with hints of caramel-crunch and ginger. The palate is broad, substantial and nicely defined, the rather confident structure coming though here, with sour edges to the fruit and firm acidity. There is good stony minerally character, with a more harmonious middle and pithy, sappy finish. Long, rather savoury here, and appealing despite those earlier concerns. Good.
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