Country, Region: France, Alsace
Appellation: Alsace Vendanges Tardives
‘A gewurztraminer masterpiece! Smells like walking through a tropical garden at dawn. On the palate, it is creamy and elegant at the same time. With just enough sweetness to fit into this category and just enough acidity to make the finish very long. Pure and precise. Delicious now, but the track record of this wine suggests that it has at least 10 years of aging potential.’ 96 points, Stuart Pigott, JamesSuckling.com, May 2018.
‘Bright golden-tinged yellow. Pure lemon, minerals and honeyed mango on the knockout nose. Very pure and elegant, offering flavors of grapefruit, menthol and candied violet. Finishes long and clean, displaying a delicate flintiness and a ripe honeyed note. Luscious and precise, but doesn’t seem especially sweet (though at 65 g/L residual sugar, this is no slouch in the “sugar load” department). Lovely balance from start to finish and will likely prove very ageworthy. Made with practically only passerillé (air-dried) grapes, with little or no noble rot to speak of. Drink 2023-2038.’ 93+ points, Ian d’Agata, Vinous, March 2017.
'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.