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Domaine Huet, 2009 Update: The 2008 Vintage

Domaine Huet, 2009 Update: The 2008 Vintage

I have already tasted the nascent 2008 vintage from Huet in Angers at the Salon des Vins de Loire in February this year, and so September’s Huet tasting, hosted by the importer Richards Walford in the Quo Vadis restaurant in Soho, London, was an excellent opportunity for me to revisit the wines and see how they have developed since I first met them. Even in February it was clear to me on tasting those embryonic cuvées that 2008 was a brilliant vintage for demi-sec at Huet, these wines being the most thrilling and racy, with a vibrant, floral and perfumed character backed up by great linearity and definition. I certainly expressed this sort of sentiment at the time. It seems that Noël Pinguet (pictured below), the 21st century doyen of Huet who was present at this most recent event, is in agreement. And as if to reinforce his belief that this is above all else a demi-sec vintage he also brought along to this tasting a selection of demi-sec wines from older vintages.

Huet 2008, Noel Pinguet

A Demi-Sec Vintage

I will publish my notes on those older wines as soon as possible, but for today I am concentrating on the 2008 vintage, which was after all the principle reason for the event. The hurdles of vinification and bottling are now well behind them, and so this was a first exciting opportunity to taste the finished, definitive wines from this vintage. On the whole they showed very well, as I am sure my tasting notes below will reveal. Most reassuringly, the demi-sec cuvées were just as convincing as they were seven months ago, even if they are now settling down into a more harmonious and reserved character. It remains clear on this tasting that this is still very much a great vintage for this style, and I would countenance extensive purchasing and cellaring of these wines. The main stumbling block for British buyers is of course the weak pound, which means that during the course of this year prices in the UK have increased significantly, and the present exchange rate also harms us étrangers who would tend to buy at the cellar door. In comparison to the best wines from Burgundy or Bordeaux, however, I think the top wines of Vouvray, such as these, remain good value.

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