Domaine Huet Le Mont Moelleux Vouvray 2003 75cl


Tasting Note

Hints of maple syrup dance around your nose, with a sweet stone fruit element coming through. I got a little lychee on it, with some white flowers and peach on the end. A superb maturing Vouvray.

About the Le Mont Vineyard

Recognised since the 15th Century as being one of the most distinguished sites in the appellation, Le Mont was also known locally as Perruches, a local name for the greenish tinged clay soils flecked with perrons, fist-sized pebbles of flint. This eight-hectare vineyard is situated below Le Haut Lieu and abuts the vineyards of Domaine Foreau. As with Le Clos du Bourg, it is positioned on the first coteaux, around two kilometres further to the east although the soil here is more profound and the vines need to delve deeper to access the honeycomb coloured tuffeau below.

Regardless of the style of wine produced, Le Mont is usually the last vineyard to be picked, the retarded ripening is reflected in the maturation of the wines as they are usually the last to develop, even if they remain very long lived.

Le Mont was purchased by Gaston in November 1957 from the Saumur based sparkling wine producer, Ackerman-Laurance. They had previously sold the wine under the lieu-dit name of ‘Clos le Mont’, with the 1945, 1946 and 1947 all listed by London based wine merchants, Saccone & Speed, in their 1951 catalogue. Price: 16 shillings and sixpence.

At the foot of the vineyard is a semi-troglodyte house, which became the home of the Pinguet’s. Cut into the honey-coloured rock at the back are the old cellars where the wines would have once been matured.

To the side is an old cave with two ancient wooden presses, last used in 1935. It is from here that one takes the 62 stairs cut in the rock in 1968 to access the main Huet cellar. At one point in time, Le Mont was also home to the gendarmes, and within one cellar in the house there is an old holding cell.


Gaston Huet was born in Plauzat, a village vigneron in the Auvergne on the 4h April 1910. He came from a modest family. His father, Victor, ran the village café, which is where he met and married Anna-Constance Moreaux, Gaston’s mother, in September 1908. Victor served his country in the Great War, but as a victim of mustard gas, he suffered respiratory problems and, at the advice of his doctor, he gave up the bistro in search of another career.

Victor’s own father was an Angevin, so it was decided that the family would relocate to the Val de Loire. He was considering a future in forestry when, by chance, the couple happened upon the appropriately named Le Haut Lieu, high up on the plateau above Vouvray. It was Constance who fell in love with the low manoir with its pretty shutters and its south facing views over the valley. As it was, Victor became a vigneron instead.

Gaston, now 18, was encouraged to attend college where he studied general agronomy before returning to the domaine. Between 1929 (the first Huet vintage) and 1934, the wines were made at Le Haut Lieu.

In August 1934, Gaston married Germaine Foreau, sister of André, whose family had installed themselves as vignerons in Vouvray in 1923. The couple’s first daughter, Jacqueline was born in 1938. That same year, Gaston was destined to take over the running of the domaine from his father, although with an impending war, he found himself drafted into the French army as a lieutenant instead.

Before leaving for the front, Gaston ensured that wines from their first few vintages were safely secreted in cellars along the Loire. In the years that followed the war, Gaston and Germaine had two more children; a son, Jean, who duly followed his father by studying as a winemaker, and a daughter, Marie-Françoise. From the original three hectares, Le Haut Lieu grew to become nine and, in 1953, he added Le Clos du Bourg which is still considered by many to be the greatest single site within the appellation, and was followed, in 1957, by the addition of Le Mont. 

In 1968 Marie-Françoise married local butcher’s son, Noël Pinguet, a beer drinker by his own admission who just happened to fall in love with the daughter of a vigneron. In the early 1970s, Noël worked alongside his father-in-law and, although having no formal winemaking training, he took over the running of the cellar from the 1976 vintage. Apart from his five years spent in a POW camp, Gaston had lived the whole of his adult life at Le Haut Lieu; right up to the time of his death in April 2002. 

With no natural family successor (the Pinguet’s had two daughters but neither Anne nor Carine showed any interest in taking on the domaine), the property was offered up for sale and in 2003, Anthony Hwang, a Filipino born, New York based businessman took a controlling share.

Between 2003 and 2012 there were no real changes in the day to day running of domaine. Noël continued to tend the vines on its biodynamic principles, aided by the genial Jean-Bernard Berthomé, a local lad who had worked closely with Noël since 1978, joining directly from college.

Following the sale in 2003, Noël had a contract with Société Huet to work ‘part-time’ until his 70th birthday in 2015, although he and Hwang decided to part company in 2012. Jean-Bernard elected to retire in 2021. Today, it is Vouvrillon, Benjamin Joliveau, who officially started working at Huet in May 2009 (having just completed a stage at Hoopenburg in the Cape) who heads up the cellar and vineyard team, whilst Sarah, Anthony’s daughter, is in overall charge of domaine.

Country: France | Region: Vouvray, Loire | Alcohol: TBC | Grapes: Chenin Blanc | Organic | Biodynamic