France, white wine

Tasting Aged White Wines: 1985 Huet

1985 Huet Vouvray Moelleux
I have to be honest and admit I’m not a huge fan of aged white wines. Even with top-flight Burgundy or Chablis, I like to drink them fairly young. Though I do appreciate a few years of bottle-age for the oak and other elements to integrate, I usually prefer the fresh fruit and lively acidity of younger wines, regardless of their price. But when you talk about Huet, from France’s Loire Valley, it’s a whole different story entirely.

The region of Vouvray produces a wide range of wines from the Chenin Blanc grape: sparkling, dry, off-dry, and sweet. I don’t think anyone is going to argue that Huet isn’t the best producer in Vouvray. Huet makes some of the most sublime white wines in the world, period. And they can age better than most reds. The sweetness of the wine and natural acidity are the one-two punch that make Huet’s moelleux wines so ageworthy. They are not quite at dessert-level sweetness but it’s certainly present.

The wines pictured about are from two different vineyards and were remarkably distinct. The Le Mont bottling was very honeyed in color and texture; very unctuous and golden. The Clos du Borg, however, drank like a wine in its relative infancy than one at the quarter-century mark. Very mineral-driven, racy, and lively, with subtle sweetness. If poured blind, I never would have pegged this wine at being more than ten years old.

It was a real thrill to get to taste two 25-year-old wines from a legendary producer. Discovering new things and being constantly surprised is what makes working in the wine business so great. And, uh, getting to try wines like these!

We’re getting tiny amounts of each bottling; let me know if you are interested.

So what is your take on aging white wines?

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2 thoughts on “Tasting Aged White Wines: 1985 Huet

  1. I really like aged whites, even the drier ones. I’ve had some 25+ yo chardonnay’s that were really interesting. They developed a darker hugh and some of the caramel flavors had intensified. I think these were pretty heavily oaked, but that had mellowed to a really nice place. I want to try more older whites and will keep an eye out for them.

    • Barnaby,

      The Huets are truly special wines; with the sweetness and acidity they really have the stuffing to age for decades. It’s been a while since I’ve had a Chardonnay with any significant bottle-age on it. This is because if I have Chablis, I drink it! It’s hard for me to resist. I should probably have a third party hold onto them and not let me touch them for a couple decades.

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