Domaine Huet Cuvee Constance (500ML) 2018
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A heavenly wine, with a beautiful earthiness rippling through decadent flavors of poached pear, stewed apple, honeycomb, pastry and spiced fig. Stealth power underscores the up-front fruit, with steely mineral, refreshing lemon verbena and crushed dried herbs adding balance and vibrancy.
The white to golden-yellow colored 2018 Vouvray Cuvée Constance is deep, very clear, fresh and refined on the slightly smoky nose that is reminiscent of baby pineapples, stone fruits, lemon and quince aromas intertwined with a very delicate flintiness. Playful and finessed in all its richness, this is a full-bodied, highly elegant yet intense, saline and very sustainable Vouvray Chenin with an almost endless finish. The acidity is very finely grained but vital and savory, carrying this brilliant beauty to a very long, intense yet always delicate and stimulating finish. 11.5% stated alcohol. 500-milliliter bottle. Natural cork. Tasted in April 2023. Best After 2023
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.