The Best Sparkling Wine Outside Champagne?
2002 Huet Petillant Reserve
Epic Sparkling Vouvray from Loire Legend
Our November offer on Huet's Petillant Reserve 02 was brutal.
The email went out and the requests that came in amounted to 4-5x the quantities we had. It got ugly; we had to slash requests for 3 cases down to 3 bottles. This sort of thing is fun for no one.
In retrospect, we should have been more careful, offering the wine out ONLY to a small crowd - the reputation of the wine had gotten out there. Honestly, for maybe the past year and a half we'd been fielding slews of requests from many of you, asking after availability of the 2002 Huet Petillant Reserve.
Many, many months before the wine was ever released, it had become one of the most cult bottles of sparkling wine outside of Champagne.
The wine has a lot going for it: A legendary producer, one of the greatest vintages of the last 40 years (part of a super trifecta of vintages including 1971 and 1989?), an aging regiment that kept it on its lees for the better part of a decade and a reputation for longevity that rivals, well, just about any wine anywhere.
The story of this email is simple: WE FOUND MORE. There were just too many requests to try and offer this out to the people who missed out on the first time around (and this time we think we have the quantity to match reasonable requests) so here we go: Please give us your maximum order and we'll do our best.
If you considered this wine the first time but passed on the offer, don't make the mistake again. We've opened a few bottles over the past month and this is simply an epic bottle of wine. Do not miss.
The November email is reproduced in full, below. To order, reply to this email or call the store at (212) 980-9463.
Crush Wine & Spirts
Many of you are familiar with Huet's epic 02s, so many of you will understand our obsessive pursuit of this bottle. 2002 was a watershed vintage at Domaine Huet - probably one of the three greatest in the last 40 years, along with 1989 and 1971.
And Huet's basic 02 Petillant was awesome, with a legion of fans - many of you who, like us, fell for it and likely participated in a similar search for the Reserve. The wine was just that good.
What separates the basic (excellent) petillant bottling from the reserve is that the reserve is released later after it's spent more time on the lees. As for the results...
The bottle of 02 Petillant Reserve we drank in June was awe-inspiring. It's certainly not out of line to consider Huet's Petillant Reserve among the best sparkling wines outside of Champagne. At $39.95, the value here is very impressive when you consider the quality and ageability.
The 02 Reserve shows the chalky, textured minerality along with the stone fruits and spice that's typical of Huet's Petillants, yet it is richer and with distinctly more depth from its longer lees aging. Of course, the signature incisive acidity is there, too, lending fantastic contrast and balance.
Overall, in terms of sparkling Chenin from both Vouvray and the Loire in general, production is shockingly high. All too often, overcropped and underripe grapes find their way into (unsurprisingly) indifferent sparkling wines here. This is simply not the case at Huet: The quality of Huet's petillants offers only more proof that this is a reference point for the entire Loire and one of the great domaines of the wine world.
Huet's wines have long been hoarded by a group of devoted fans, and this is yet another reminder of the domaine's extreme dedication to quality from the top to the bottom of the range.
Nine years after vintage, this is drinking very well now, but be advised that, like all Chenin-based wines, Huet Petillant Reserve undergoes a significant transformation in the cellar as it ages ever so gracefully.
To order, please click below, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the store at (212) 980-9463.
Crush Wine & Spirits