June 8, 2008


At the same time that I opened Joly's Les Clos Sacrés (see prior 5 posts), I opened another biodynamic Loire Valley wine, a 2006 Vouvray (Le Haut Lieu/sec) from Domaine Huët. In all candor, I did this more out of need for wine than for any regard to the Scientific Method. Let's face it, spreading out a single bottle over five days is less than ideal. Nevertheless, the Vouvray does provide a useful negative control (ed. note: this links to a wikipedia article on "Scientific Control" which has this disclaimer, "All or part of this article may be confusing or unclear." It should be noted that this is also true of this entry). I didn't decant the Huët, recorked the bottle after each pour and only tasted on odd days. I'm also not entirely sure what variables I was testing the Joly for, so this is an imprecise application of control. Probably a good idea to get used to that sort of thing with me.

Huët is one of the most prolific producers in the Loire and this wine is from the original vineyard established by Victor Huët in the 1920s. It was Nicolas Joly himself who convinced Victor's son, Gaston Huët, to convert the winery to biodynamic practices in the late 1980s.

This bottle is also from the Wine House. It was $29.

These are my tasting notes over the same five days.

DAY 1:
This is a sprightly Chenin Blanc. Lemon zest, lychee and candlewax on the nose. Lively, honeyed citrus, bright acid and well integrated minerality. Easy and approachable, if nothing fancy.

DAY 3: A more perfumed nose of waxy, white flowers and clover honey. This is still a plain vanilla Chenin, but drinks with somewhat more structure now. A discernible linear progression of citrus on the attack, an unfocused orchard fruit mid-palate and a sweet mineral finish. It's given up some of its racy acid, but is more interesting than when first opened.

DAY 5: Almost smells like Jolly Rancher apple candy with some waxy honeysuckle. Still bright in the mouth, pear and lemon with a sweet limestone kick on the finish.

I wasn't that impressed at first, but on day 5... I'd buy this again. Ironic?

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