Jamie was surprised by the 1989’s youth:
‘Domaine Huet 'Le Clos du Bourg' Première Trie 1989 Vouvray, France
Deep yellow colour. Complex, sweet spicy-edged nose showing lemon, herbs and crystalline fruits. The palate is pure and fresh with lovely bright tangy apple and citrus fruit with some apricotty richness. Lovely purity and length. This wine has evolved much less than you might expect and still seems like a baby, with a long life ahead of it. 72 g/litre residual sugar, so it's sweet but not too sweet. 93/100 (£85 Waitrose)’
1989 is one of those vintages when Loire Chenin went into a long dumb stage (a long sulk). It appears to have come out of this over the last few years. The difference with 1990, which never went through a dumb stage, is striking – 1990 is much more evolved and is already a deep burnished golden colour. Noël Pinguet (Domaine Huet) has always believed that 1989 is the greater of these two very fine vintages. I’m not going to argue with him. The best 1989s Loire Chenins are likely to last 100 years or more.
He also enjoyed the Domaine Huet 'Le Mont' Demi-Sec 2002 Vouvray. 2002 is a beautifully balanced vintage with autumn weather conditions fairly similar to 2007 and 2008 where after a poor summer, the vintage being was saved by a fine September with a drying wind from the east.
Although not the 1989, this 1964 was drunk as a aperitif on Saturday 16th August 2008 and marked the last day of the Wine Detective's summer Loire. The 1964 is still very fresh with delicate honeyed tones and its pale to mid-gold colour makes it look like a wine from the 1980s. Reasonable to suppose that it will last decades more. 1964 was a successful year in the Loire, especially in Chinon where the Clos de l'Echo is a classic.