TN: Huet Fete V: 1924-1959 (Racines, NYC): 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-.
Sunday Night Dinner (Paris Club - Chicago, IL): The nose was a bit off-putting. I think the general consensus was that it was a distinct urine smell. There was also a hint of apple, pear and some typical wooly chenin character. Despite the aromatics being a bit strange, I thought the palate was far more exciting. Tons of stuff going on with a somewhat oily texture, lots of floral notes, and pear. I really liked the minerality and acidity that were integrated on the finish of the wine keeping it fresh at 65 years of age.
Remarkable aromatics; fascinating to smell with a fragrance combining soy and high-toned horseradish elements with more typical Chenin honey, wool and stone fruits. It doesn't show the same savory/umami elements on the palate though, where there's a sense of purity to the fruit, though it doesn't have the same polish or persistence I've usually found in older Huet.
It was in an original, old school bottle, but was one of many in the Huet library that had received a new cork and had been topped off with additional 1949 Huet when Anthony Hwang and winemaker Noel Pinguet purchased the estate after Gaston Huet's death in '02. Though we did not give the wine nearly enough time, it was a stellar showing. From the get go it was as spry, vigorous and complex as the birthday boy. In fact, initially the acidity was so intense, it was almost a little painful and made the wine seem more like a Demi-Sec than a Moelleux. The nose was the main show when we first popped it. Just beautiful honey and bee's wax, a touch of shoe polish with youthful quince and stone fruit aromas that belied the wines deep gold appearance. As expected, with air ( I managed to keep some in my glass for over an hour) the wine really started to blossom. The acidity integrated and the fruit and sweetness came up, texturally the wine became more mouth-filling and the wine exhibited traditional aged Chenin flavors and aromas of marzipan, citrus marmalade, earl grey tea and mineral. I think I even detected a hint of red fruit in there. Impeccably balanced, with a finish as long as my 86th street crosstown bus odyssey the other day. Just a thrilling showing. Solid A.
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