2016 Domaine Huet Vouvray Clos du Bourg Moelleux Premiere Trie

Year: 2016
Appellation: Loire Valley
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 96
Wine Advocate: 94
Dessert Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 12.0%
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Clos du Bourg
This ancient, walled vineyard has estate’s the shallowest, stoniest soils. The wines are rich and intense. Many consider the 6-ha Clos du Bourg to be Vouvray’s finest single site.

"This is ripe and broad, taking a slightly more power-driven approach, with a mix of tropical mango and papaya fruit, backed by orchard fruit accents of yellow apple and peach. The long, heather honey-accented finish has light piecrust and crystalized ginger hints. Best from 2020 through 2035. 400 cases made. -JM" (WS)

"Huet's bright golden colored 2016 Vouvray Clos du Bourg Moelleux Première Trie is clear, fresh and intensely fruity on the remarkably precise nose. Medium-bodied yet concentrated, elegant and sweet on the palate, this is a salty, piquant, mineral Chenin Blanc with intense, elegant and well-structured fruit. The wine reveals a chalky finesse and long tensioned finish. Bottled with 84 grams of residual sugar, this is still a pretty sweet but doubtlessly promising Vouvray. Tasted February 2018.

Huet's winemaker Jean-Bernard Barthomé classifies the complicated 2016 vintage as "exceptional" in so far as the frost from April 27th reduced 50% of the potential yields. 2016 was also exceptional due to the endless rainfalls in spring that were followed by an exceptional period of drought between July and November. The harvest? "Exceptional!" It started October 6th and went on for three beautiful weeks under a blue, luminous sky. "Beautiful conditions prior to and during the harvest allowed us to make multiple passes through the vineyards," he said, which led to the production of the entire range of table wines from Sec to Première Trie and even the rarely produced "Cuvée Constance" (I haven't tasted the latter yet, though). Bottled in April 2017, all the wines are very delicate, elegant, pure and superbly balanced expressions of their specific terroirs. The Clos du Bourg Moelleux is the first since 2009, and it is fabulous. However, my personal wine of the vintage is the 2016 Le Mont Moelleux Première Trie, which is a very complex and truly exciting Chenin Blanc from flint and green clay soils! Its light, fresh, pure and concentrated style reflects the vintage perfectly, with firm yet vibrant structure, a salty taste, crystalline acidity and a long, complex finish that reflects the great terroir of Le Mont.

The 2015 Cuvée Constance is terribly rich, sweet and intense, a deep and unctuously textured sweet wine to be enjoyed many years from now.

From Huet's German importer I received the three 1997 Première Tries, of which the Clos du Bourg was absolutely amazing. Its lightness, great finesse and elegance is not far from 2016, but 20 years of bottle aging have added enormous complexity. This wine is still available, and Chenin Blanc lovers shouldn't miss it. The bottles I had from Le Mont were not in the best shape, though. When I have the chance to taste it again, you'll read about it." (WA)