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Moullieux out (Vouvray, France – Day Two)

Not having done any serious winery visiting for so long I had forgotten that generally in certain countries in Europe they don’t really show visitors vineyards. I have a number of theories about their reasons for this. The first is that a lot of the time cellars are not on the estates the vines grow, partly as it is more important to use land for vines but also as originally the vineyards were owned by the church and then split amongst the people in the villages by Napoleon. The second theory I have is that with so many vignerons owning vineyards in essentially the same area they can rarely claim a terroir as their own, and must therefore talk about their expression of the terroir. Another theory I have is that there is an assumed understanding about their appellation and terroir, and there is very little need to show the vineyards. The final reason is that generally visitors are more interested in either flash wineries (Bordeaux) or cellars, and of course in tasting the wines. So it is with disappointment that after three days and seven appointments already I have only had one of my hosts show me vineyards. This is the case in France and Germany, but less so in most of Italy, Spain and Portugal. I took it upon myself to drive around the vineyards of Vouvray to get acquainted with them, but it isn’t the same without someone pointing out specifics like viticulturist practices.
The cellars of Bernard Fouquet

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Domaine Huet – 23/11/2012

Domaine Huet Petillant Brut 2007
Clean mineralic citrus. Very tight and fresh, lean and balanced, good fruit, mineralic and intense, purity of fruit and good lines through the palate. Nice finish and quite long on the palate.

Methode Traditionelle 2002
Lot’s of lees autolysis, very creamy and buttery, bready and biscuity, some oxidative characters as well. Rich and very subtle, a lot of complexity but a little flat. Lacking elegance and expression, not sure about this style with the variety, lends itself to the champagne varieties more.

Le Haut-Lieu 2011 Sec
Very grassy on the nose, green apricots, cumquat and quince. Nice pleasant light fruit, fairly simple structure, approachable with good acidity, some minerality and sea-salt, a really great wine to pair with seafood. Finesse but also some simplicity. A little late nut character on the back.

Clos du Bourg 2011 Sec
Tighter darker earthier nose, more sweet nut characters, some very subtle vanilla root, apple blossom and citrus. Richer and fuller on the palate, builds more in the mid- and carries through. Deeper and more expressive, powerful and complex fruit. More depth and concentration, but also very generous.

Le Mont 2011 Sec
A little tighter and more seashell notes on the aroma, green nuts pistachio, crushed salt and herbs, less fruit than the others. Full expression and weight, power but less fruit, more integrated earthy savoury elements, more alcoholic expression and texture. The most masculine of the three.

Le Mont 2006 Demi-Sec
Oily flinty and ripe rich fruit characters, showing a little maturity. Presents as quite sweet initially, slightly savoury and earthy. A little short on the finish, but perhaps ageing quickly.

Le Haut-Lieu 2007 Demi-Sec
More sea-shells, some oily apricot kernel, savoury biscuit. Bolder and more textured, more expressive and intense, powerful and dense but still very fresh and great acid. Rich and full, lots of ageing potential, great balance.

Clos du Bourg 2007 Moelleux
Floral honey, ripe fruit on the nose. Textured but also very clean and pure, complex but wonderfully balanced and intense. Carries the sweetness beautifully, good acids and again lovely with cheese. Not dessert wine, but certainly sweet.

Le Haut-Lieu 2009 Moelleux
More floral and intense fruit nose, candied and some fairy floss characters, jubey juicy and bright. Fresh and full of fruit, very powerful and expressive. Nice clean finish, some nice texture, but very young for now. Nice and broad on the palate.

Le Mont 2009 Moelleux
More waxy and less fruity, mealy and cheesy, some lees notes adding complexity. Somewhat closed at the moment. Dense and expressive, but kind of hollow in the middle of the palate. Lovely and juicy but seems somehow simple and sweet. Lacks structure and elegance. Perhaps will improve with age.

Premiere Trie 2006 Moelleux
Quiet mineralic and flinty nose, some ripe stone fruit but also a hint of spicy sweet herbs. Balanced, very complex, hauntingly long on the palate, wonderful precision and harmony, excellent concentration without cloying sweetness. Some nice savoury elements will continue to evolve in the bottle.

Premiere Tre 2008 Moelleux
Fascinating nose, more like a riesling or an albarino, sea salt oily truffles, dried fish, daikon. Much bolder richer and more textured, but glides away on the palate beautifully. Initially has more sweetness and richness but then the balance comes through on the mid-palate before dissipating. Very long again, some lovely juicy fruit on the back of the palate keeps things fresh for the next sip. 

Premiere Trie 2010 Moelleux
Brooding concentrated dark root beer, a touch volatile on the nose, some barley and tequila. Very heavy and sweet, on the cloying side, pear and apple on the palate, honey and wheat, some molasses and also some volatile aromas.
Domaine Huet

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