Variety: Pinot Gris
Country, Region: France, Alsace
Appellation: Alsace Selection de Grains Nobles (SGN)
’The 2000 Pinot Gris Selection de Grains Nobles Hors Choix explodes from the glass with apricots, white peaches, and boisterous notes of botrytis. Medium to full-bodied, intense, and broad, this is a lush and layered wine. Copious quantities of yellow fruits are intermingled with smoke, spices, and botrytis in this huge, yet highly focused and persistent wine. Absolutely stunning, it should easily last for 30 years or more.’ 96 points, Pierre Rovani, The Wine Advocate, December 2001.
‘Medium gold. Rather restrained aromas of tangerine, dried pit fruits, honey and licorice. Super sweet and thick, with powerful (10 grams/liter) acidity keeping the flavors fresh. A wine of great sucrosity but very clean and vibrant on the finish. To get concentration like this, says Jean, we usually need to harvest a month later. This bottling was previously offered in '94 and '90, but the 2000 version will probably be even longer-lived than those earlier vintages. RS 100g/l.’ 93-95 points, Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, July 2001.
'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.