Domaine Huet, 2023 Update

I have enjoyed pulling some older bottles of Vouvray from the depths of my cellar during the course of the last couple of years. The 1989 vintage features quite strongly (as long-term readers, or anyone old enough to remember the 1989 vintage, might expect, hopefully reminded by posts such as this one, this one or this one), but of course there is more to the Loire Valley’s most renowned appellation than this one vintage. It is always worth dipping into other years, not least 1993, as witnessed by my recently pulling of the cork on another bottle of the 1993 Le Haut Lieu Moelleux Première Trie from Domaine Huet just this week.

Domaine Huet

I like to keep tabs on young wines too (of course), checking in to see what a number of domaines have achieved in recent years, which include benevolent, moelleux-rich vintages such as 2018, rather leaner years such as 2021, and a variety of styles between the two. After all, how else am I going to keep up with developments in the appellation? These days it is not just Winedoctor I need to keep up to date, but also the Loire Valley entries in the annually published Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Guide, a role I have just assumed this year; I just started (this week) editing the Loire contributions for the 2025 edition, which will be published in 2024).

One of the joys of tasting with the team from Domaine Huet is that they often pour young and old vintages side by side, although the number of wines poured these days is smaller than it was a decade ago when Noël Pinguet used to pour everything from the most recent vintage, and then just as many wines (or at least it felt that way) from prior vintages. Nevertheless I remain interested in tasting here. I also remain interested in visiting, but eight years after being banned from the domaine several requests for an appointment (made during the course of 2022) went unanswered. I guess the ban is still in place.

Despite this I was able to taste the wines reported on here with winemaker Benjamin Joliveau and Johan Le Calonnec (who works on the commercial side of the domaine) at the Salon Saint Jean in Angers in 2023. First, having quizzed Benjamin on recent vintages, I present a quick recap of how 2021 and 2022 went at Domaine Huet.

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