Practising Organic, Certified HVE3
Country, Region: France, Alsace
This wine is named for Frédéric Emile Trimbach who became famous for providing a new guarantee of quality and authenticity for Trimbach in 1898. The south and south-east facing Ribeauvillé Grand Crus of Geisberg and Osterberg have been producing this wine for several generations. The average age of the vines, 45 years, results in limited yields.
’Luminous straw-yellow. Complex, mint-accented aromas of nectarine, tangerine and powdered stone, plus a hint or licorice. Then bright, juicy and dense, showing outstanding acid-sugar balance and a penetrating juiciness to the stone fruit and herbal flavours. Finishes multilayered and very long, displaying noteworthy clarity and limy cut on the saline finish. Wine lovers everywhere know how great Frederic Emile Rieslings can be, but this looks to be a real knockout in the making; I absolutely love this wines mineral drive and precision. It pulls off the neat trick of being both very age-worthy and also lovely to drink right now. I was happy to know that my palate was still working after an extremely long day of tasting when I told Pierre that in this vintage of Frederic Emile I found more of the Geisberg than the Osterberg (in most recent vintages, the wines is a blend of 60/40 Osterberg-Geisberg, at times even 70/30, but this year it’s more like 55/45).’ 97+ points, Ian d’Agata, Vinous, September 2017.
‘The lemon-sherbet note here is really beautiful. Then comes a wealth of herbs, ranging from thyme to parsley, with a touch of sea salt, before turning to more floral nuances, such as cherries and almond blossom. The powerful acidity seems to surround the whole mouth and makes this almost like licking a lemon; the unmistakable dryness is all the more enjoyable because of it. Long and very elegant on the finish. Drink now.’ 96 points, Stuart Pigott, James Suckling, August 2019.
'Trimbach is at the summit of dry white winemaking.'
Clive Coates M.W.
'Clos St Hune, the Alsace Riesling by which all others are judged.'
With viticultural origins going back to 1626 this family owned estate produces some of the finest wines not only of Alsace, but indeed the entire world of wine. Around the villages of Ribeauvillé and Hunawihr, the Trimbach family owns 27 hectares of vineyards including 1.67ha of Rosacker Grand cru (which produces the highly famed Clos Sainte Hune Riesling) as well as parcels of Geisberg and Osterberg (blended to make the equally renowned Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile). Geisberg and Osterberg are located on the hill rising up behind the ‘new’ family winery on the edge of Ribeauvillé. The family moved from their ‘old’ winery in Hunawihr in the 1890’s! Indeed, the label of Clos Sainte Hune depicts the view to the local church from the old winery in Hunawihr.
According to Jean Trimbach, the house style is aiming for ‘harmonious wines that are concentrated, not heavy; fruity, not sweet; bracing rather than fat; polite rather than voluptuous.’ To that end, fermentations are cool and slow, maloloactic fermentation is not carried out and the wines are bottled early to retain freshness.
The dry Rieslings are usually made with less than 5g/l of residual sugar, whereas the dry Gewürztraminers might carry up to 10g/l. The wines are then aged in the cellar for at least one year; up to 5 years or more for the top wines. Even the richer Vendanges Tardive and Selection de Grains Nobles wines are made with more restraint than is usual in Alsace more generally: VT Rieslings typically carry 15-40g/l; VT Gewürztraminer around 50-75g/l; and SGN typically from 100g/l.