Cooking to the Wine: Domaine Huet Vouvray Clos du Bourg Moelleux Premiere Trie & Pork Tenderloin with Citrus Gastrique (#Winophiles)

I think I’ve made my appreciation of France’s Loire Valley known. It produces an incredibly diverse array of food-friendly wines, many at very reasonable prices. This region, with its plethora of romantic chateaux (I sooooooo want to visit), is also a treasure trove for wine drinkers interested in sustainable, organic, biodynamic, and natural wines. About 30% of Loire Valley vineyards today are farmed sustainably or organically, with the numbers increasing each year. Moreover, many of the country’s most celebrated and earliest adopters of these practices come from the banks of the Loire River.

Map borrowed from

Today we’re opening a bottle from one of those celebrated OG’s of organics/biodynamics – Domaine Huet. This domaine has been a standard-bearer for Vouvray, and by extension Chenin Blanc, for a very long time. They make wines in the spanning Chenin’s full range – sparkling, dry, semi-dry, and dessert styles. I’ve never had a bottle from Huet that wasn’t freak’n delicious! 

The domaine was founded in 1928 after Victor Huët, formerly a Parisian bistro owner returned from World War II with shattered nerves and lungs. He resettled in Vouvray and purchased the first of the domaine’s famed vineyards, Le Haut-Lieu. Victor’s son Gaston worked with his father from the very start and built up the winery’s reputation for quality over the next 55 years.He eventually brought on his son-in-law, Noël Pinguet, and 1979 by chef de culture, Jean-Bernard Berthomé. As Gaston got older he decided he needed a partner and ultimately brought on New Yorker Anthony Hwang. Today the domaine is owned and operated by his children, brother-sister duo, Sarah & Hugo Hwang, who have worked hard to preserve the legacy by maintaining key members of the team.

The vineyards at Domaine Huet have always been worked without chemicals, but in the late 1980s Gaston Huët, Pinguet, and Bertholmé heard grape grower François Bouchet extolling the benefits of biodynamics at a conference, and decided to try it out for themselves. They put the principles into practice in 1988, by 1990 all of their vineyards were being farmed biodynamically, and they received their Demeter certification in 1993. 

Sarah Hwang described the domaine’s history with biodynamics in a 2019 article for SevenFiftyDaily:

 “Never in the history of the estate have we used chemical fertilizers or pesticides . . . After the Second World War, there was a harmony that was lost,” says Hwang. “Biodynamics offered the possibility of reconnecting with nature. For us, the philosophy is really about balance.”

Map borrowed from


For this post, I decided to open a rather special bottle of Domaine Huet that has been in “my cellar” for quite a while – the Domaine Huet Vouvray Clos du Bourg Moelleux Première Trie 2006

Chenin’s high acidity makes it a good candidate for aging in general, and when made by a winery of the caliber of Domain Huet’s, it’s very likely that you have a bottle that can be easily laid down for a very long time. Sugar is another preservative, and moelleux is among the sweetest styles of Vouvray. (If you see the term liquoreux, that’s the sweetest style, but this is up there.) All together this 2006 was alive and kick’n – no sweat. In fact, we accidentally left the bottle out overnight after opening it, not realizing there was a little wine left in the bottle – the wine was still totally fine when I tried it the next morning.

Moelleux styles are also typically botrytized wines and showed the honeyed character and complexity that goes with noble rot. (Check out this post for a more in-depth description of botrytis.) Because noble rot affects grapes unevenly, growers working with botrytized grapes will often collect them in various “tries” or passes through the vineyards. Première Tries, therefore, means “first selection” and essentially indicates that the wine is made from the best grapes of the vintage. 

Huet has three principal vineyards – Le Haut-Lieu, Le Mont, and Clos du Bourg. All three are located on Vouvray’s “Première Côte” (or “first slope”), home to the majority of the region’s best vineyards – basically, the Grand Cru of the area. Today’s bottle comes from Clos du Bourg, an ancient, walled vineyard. Gaston Huet believed it to be the greatest of all Vouvray vineyards as it has the Première Côte’s shallowest, stoniest soils. The wines tend to balance intense minerality and generous texture.

On the day we opened this bottle, I picked up notes of candied grapefruit, tangerine, ginger, and honeysuckle on the nose. The wine was very layered on the palate. The tangerine and honeyed grapefruit notes were joined by bruised golden apples and dried tropical fruits. This is definitely a sweet wine, but the sweetness is balanced by a pleasant hint of bitterness like grapefruit pith was mixed in, as well as earthy notes of straw and stones, and even a touch of chamomile. Greg compared it to pink grapefruit lemonade sweetened with honey. 

Although this is a dessert wine, I thought I’d try to create an entrée to pair with it. I immediately thoughts of duck a l’orange. The tiny hint of bitterness I picked in the wine also made me think of gastrique, which blends sugar and a sour element like citrus juice or vinegar. That’s the idea I ran with and chose a mixture of grapefruit and lemon juice to create a version of this sweet-and-sour sauce. 

The sauce topped simply prepared sous vide pork tenderloin. I really think sous vide cooking is ideal for preparing pork tenderloin since it makes this otherwise easy-to-overcook cut pretty foolproof. To complete the dish, I roasted some sliced carrots which were glazed in a bit of the gastrique and tossed with wilted kale and a little blue cheese. 

It was a very good match as the flavors in the wine and the dish mirrored each other nicely. The blue cheese made for a great salty contrast. In fact, I liked how those two worked so well that I cut a couple of additional slices of cheese for us to enjoy with the wine after dinner. The wine also wasn’t half bad with dark salted chocolate with almond, complementing the chocolate the way it might work with candied oranges.



The current average price on this wine is $99. The release price is usually in the $60-$70 range.

Alcohol: 12.5%

If Vouvray is new to you, I invite you to check out this post where you’ll find a cheat sheet on the background and details of the region.  Here's an infographic from that shares the basics on Vouvray.

I couldn’t a find tech sheet describing the winemaking for this wine (neither for current nor past vintages) but you can find additional information on the winery and its wines the Rare Wine Co. and Polaner Selections

One more quick note, Domaine Huet has always held back a good percentage of wines, so it’s not uncommon to find library vintages out in the world. They’re a good bet if you’re interested in older vintages since both the house and the grape are known for their ageability. 


As I mentioned above, I think this would be fantastic with duck à l'orange, as well as with Peking Duck, and other sweeter Asian dishes. 

It’d also be perfect with strong cheeses and fruit desserts, particularly those featuring peaches, apples, pears, or candied citrus. I’m conjuring up images of apple strudel. 

For a dessert pairing, consider this Cinnamon Apple Crème Brûlée. I think you could easily swap the wines and pairings in these two posts. recommends sweet styles of Vouvray “as an aperitif, or with desserts featuring apples, pears, nougat or almond paste; blue cheese such as Fourme d’Ambert, Roquefort and Bleu d’Auvergne.” 


sous vide, pork tenderloin, gastrique, sweet-and-sour
Servings: 4
By: Nicole Ruiz Hudson
Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin with Citrus Gastrique and Roasted Carrots with Kale and Blue Cheese

Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin with Citrus Gastrique and Roasted Carrots with Kale and Blue Cheese

Prep Time: 10 MinCooking Time: 1 H & 10 MTotal Time: 1 H & 20 M


For the pork:
  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • ⅛ tsp white pepper
  • ⅛ tsp ginger
  • ⅛ tsp onion powder
  • 2 to 4 sprigs of thyme
  • lemon and/or grapefruit zest, a generous pinch, optional
  • Salt, as needed
  • Olive oil
For the carrots and kale:
  • 1 bunch of medium carrots, about 8, sliced into approximately ½” pieces
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, or as needed
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 2 to 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese, or to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
For the gastrique:
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 2 Tbsp of water, or as needed
  • Juice of 1 lemon, reserve the zest for use on the pork and as garnish
  • Juice of ½ a grapefruit (about ½ a cup), reserve the zest for use on the pork and as garnish, optional
  • 1 or 2 sprigs of thyme
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Set up sous vide immersion circulator and preheat water to desired final cooking temperature–In this case, I set it to 129°F for medium-rare. (Searing the pork at the final stage brought it closer to the medium by the end.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F
  3. Prepare the Pork. Place the pork tenderloin in a heavy-duty, food-grade zipper bag. Season with the white pepper, ginger, onion powder, and salt, as well as a pinch of citrus zest if using. Drizzle with a little olive oil and add in the sprigs of thyme. Seal the bag using a vacuum sealer or via the water displacement method. Cook for 1 hour.  (Note: To use the water displacement method, zip up the majority of the bag leaving just an inch or open at the end. Lower the bag into the water–as you do so, the water on the outside of the bag will push out the remaining air in the bag. Once the bag is lowered the majority of the way into the water, zip up the remainder of the bag.)
  4. Prepare the carrots. Place the sliced carrots in a medium roasting pan – the pan just needs to be big enough to be able to arrange the carrot slices in roughly a single layer. Toss with the a generous pour of olive oil (about 2 tablespoons), apple cider vinegar, the Dijon mustard, the shallots, and generous pinches of salt and pepper. Add the sprigs of thyme. (You can pick the thyme leaves, but I find they tend separate from the sprig on their own while roasting.)
  5. Roast the carrots in the oven and roast for about one hour total, stirring after 25 to 30 minutes. I’d recommend checking on them after 45 to 50 minutes to gauge their doneness. They’re ready when a knife or fork inserted into them slides in with little resistance, but you can let them go longer if you prefer them softer and/or more caramelization.
  6. Make the gastrique while the pork and carrots are cooking. Stir together the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium to medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture turns deep caramel to amber (about 6 to 8 minutes), gently swirling or stirring occasionally to make sure the sugar is fully incorporated. (Don’t stray too far away, once the color begins to turn, it darkens quickly.) Reduce the heat, and mix in the citrus juices to the caramel – be careful and stand back just in case the mixture spits and splatters. Add the thyme sprigs and a pinch of salt, and allow the mixture to continue to reduce for a few minutes until it reaches a syrupy consistency. If the mixture becomes too thick, add a little more water or juice to loosen it up again. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  7. Once the carrots have cooked to the desired level, pour just enough gastrique on top to lightly glaze them once tossed, then set the rest aside again and keep warm. Toss the kale on top and place it all back in the oven for a couple of more minutes while the kale wilts. Toss and taste, and keep warm until ready to serve.
  8. Finish the pork. Remove the pork tenderloin from the bag and pat dry with paper towels. Heat a small amount of olive oil (or cooking oil of your choice) in a large pan over high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the pork and sear until golden brown on all sides. Transfer the pork to a cutting board. Brush the tenderloin with a little gastrique and slice.
  9. Toss the carrots and kale with blue cheese crumbles just before serving. Serve the pork sliced on a bed of the vegetables, with a little gastrique spooned on top or on the plate, and the rest of the gastrique on the side. Garnish with extra citrus zest if desired.
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This month, join the French Winophiles hosted by Gwedolyn of Wine Predator, as we explore organic Loire:


Additional Reading and Sources:



  1. I have yet to be able to track down a sweet Vouvray and your description of this just makes me want one even more!

  2. Domaine Huet is definitely on my list to try. I love your adventurous pairing, sounds like it was a winner!

  3. Haven't tasted a sweet Vouvray - yet. I feel like sweet wines are underrated when they are sooooo food-friendly. Love the winemaker's quote about reconnecting with nature and achieving balance through Biodynamics.

    1. I definitely think sweet wines are underrated, but then I feel like more for me! LOL

  4. Great article Nicole. Too bad today is the first day of no meat, otherwise that pork looks fantastic. I also love the pairing with blue cheese and the idea of the chocolate with salt pairing. Chenin is a favorite and this winery sounds like one not to pass up. Cheers to you, Susannah

    1. Thanks so much Susannah! And yes, they're definitely a benchmark winery in the region to look out for.

  5. Wow, what a treat! The benefits of laying something down for a few years. How special. And biodynamic! Love the maps from Wine Folly also. Thanks for sharing this wine with us virtually!

    1. Laying something down is a treat isn't it! I'm actually have a younger bottle from Huet that I've laid down for a bit as well, as this makes me all the more excited to revisit it later. Thanks for hosting and giving me an excuse to open this one!

  6. This pairing sounds fabulous. Really like the sweet & sour thought, and the savory pork & salty blue cheese. I have an old bottle of Huet Molleaux.....

    1. Thanks so much! If I did it again, I personally might add more blue cheese just because I liked how it worked so much, and maybe some toasted nuts as well.


Thanks so much for leaving your comments and questions. I always love to hear from you!