Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Sec 2020
Le Mont wines are often the estate's most reticent, but develop the strongest perfume with age. Mineral-driven with a crystalline purity, this is the precision we've come to rely on with Le Mont.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The pure and intriguing nose of the 2020 Le Mont Sec is fine and focused, offering a flinty, smoky note as well as white flowers, pineapple and just-ripe pear. A taut and precise style that delivers plenty of concentration yet conveys a sense of delicacy in the mouth. It has a fine, structured, lengthy finish, an element of tension holding the palate with confident grip.
Barrel Sample: (96-97)
The only dry wine from the vintage is the 2020 Vouvray Le Mont Sec, whose tank sample shows a classy, pure, precise and chalky/lemony bouquet with bright and perfectly healthy fruit and some herbal as well as yeasty aromas. On the palate, this is a dense, fabulously juicy, fruity and elegant Chenin whose immediate attraction and pure finesse initially reminds me of Riesling, whereas the texture is too rich and the salty and finely tannic finish too intense and powerful for Riesling. With more aeration, the Le Mont gets more and more intense and complex but also, tannic-wise, more wild. The 2020 has great tension, energy and grip and is highly promising.
Today, Domaine Huet may be making its most consistently great wines. As was one of the earliest adopters of biodynamic practices, and with years of experience working with the appellation's greatest terroirs, winemaker Jean-Bernard Berthome and his team are achieving a fascinating level of transparency, purity, and knife-edged balance in the wines.
An important white wine appellation in the Touraine and one of the top in all of the Loire, Vouvray uniquely specializes in a wide range of styles from dry to sweet, and still to sparkling, each with its own definitive character. Vouvray is almost always 100% Chenin blanc (however up to 5% Menu Pineau is theoretically allowed but not often used).
Vouvray is also the name of a pretty little town just east of Tours on the northern bank of the Loire—its vineyards surround it to the northeast. Houses and cellars are carved out of the local tuffeau, a chalky or sandy, fine-grained limestone. Vineyards inhabit clay and gravel topsoil over tuffeau on the plateau, the best of which have a slight slope with a southerly aspect.
Chenin blanc’s high acidity and natural adaptability allow it to produce a wide range of styles with enormous success. Styles under the Vouvray name include sparkling, both Brut and Demi-Sec and still: Sec (dry) and Tendre (off-dry) as well as Demi-Sec (noticeably sweet), Moelleux (very sweet) and Liquoreaux (botrytized). Most can age about five years but the best quality versions will continue to improve over decades.
Unquestionably one of the most diverse grape varieties, Chenin Blanc can do it all. It shines in every style from bone dry to unctuously sweet, oaked or unoaked, still or sparkling and even as the base for fortified wines and spirits. Perhaps Chenin Blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. Somm Secret—Landing in South Africa in the mid 1800s, today the country has double the acreage of Chenin Blanc planted compared to France. There is also a new wave of dedicated producers committed to restoring old Chenin vines.