Domaine Huet, 2009 Update
The 2007 vintage seems to mark something of a turning point in my relationship with the wines of Domaine Huet. Whereas I have visited the estate several times, and tasted many wines, I don’t think I have been quite as familiar with any vintage as I have with the 2007s. I first met the wines in April 2008 at a Biodyvin tasting hosted by Alain Moueix at Château Fonroque, when they were among a small number of representatives from the Loire including François Chidaine and Alphonse Mellot. They were plainly very good, a feeling that I had confirmed when I met them again at the domaine in the summer of the same year. Now this is my third tasting of the vintage, albeit a somewhat broader one, as it includes a couple of cuvées not previously encountered. My impression of the wines remains the same; they are very good. They are, however, overshadowed a little by the 2008s based on this showing.
This is perhaps at first surprising, as 2008 was not a perfect summer by a long shot. It was damp and miserable at times, and at one point there was a dramatic storm over Vouvray which flooded the road outside Domaine Huet, the Rue de la Croix Buisée, turning it into a small but fast-flowing river. Cars were damaged and trees uprooted. There was undoubtedly a threat to the vines; such inclement weather brings the threat of rot, but the conditions were such that access to the vineyards in order to tend to the vines was limited. Some fruit was lost, and yields across the whole domaine were down, totalling just 25 hl/ha in 2008. What fruit was harvested tended to be richer in malic acid, reflecting the cool and damp vintage.