Country, Region: France, Alsace
Produced from old vines in the former wine estate of the Lords of Ribeaupierre in the Osterberg Grand Cru, along with fruit from Muhlforst and Rosacker in Hunawihr.
‘Fresh lime and its zest lend the Trimbach 2008 Gewurztraminer Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre a rather Riesling-like aura, while a hint of sweetness supports its notes of litchi and melon, which fruit pit and citrus peel bitterness helps to balance-out for a virtually dry finishing impression. Full and rich – I can see why the decision was taken not to let it ferment below 13 grams of residual sugar – this evinces fascinating low-tones of smoked meat, peat, and clove in a persistent, if faintly warm finish.’ 90 points, David Schildknecht, RobertParker.com, May 2011.
'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.' Andrew Jefford.
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.