1943 Vouvray Moelleux Le Haut-Lieu


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Average Score 96.0

Coming from "the only surviving war time vintage" (Richard Kelley), Gaston Huet's apricot-amber colored 1943 Vouvray Le Haut Lieu Moelleux shows a quite clear (though not brilliant) and still fresh and aromatic, precise bouquet of potted apricots, candied oranges, crushed stones, toast, mushrooms and Cognac aromas. Delicately sweet but by far not as concentrated as 1945, not to mention 1947, this is a Chenin of great purity, finesse, freshness and energy. However, this particular bottle is quite dry and iodine, shows a vibrantly fresh and salty finish, but is a little bit drying and not that round and free-running like the finest wines in this comprehensive rarity tasting. A touch of old Palo Cortado sherry. Since Gaston Huet was still captured by the German Nazis, the question rises: who picked this imperfect beauty? Richard Kelley says, "It is likely to have been picked by the children and women of the village and made by the elders. There is no record as to when it was bottled, but given the shortages of glass during this period, it could have either been bottled by Gaston in 1945, or some time prior to this – in second hand bottles." However, this rather dry Moelleux is a great and very special Chenin. I suppose it is a great Haut Lieu and worth a risk. Drink it as an aperitif or on its own, but don't miss it. Sep 2015, www.robertparker.com, 2015-2045

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