Country, Region: France, Alsace
20/20 points, Guide Bettane & Desseauve, 2017.
‘The 2008 Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile is now in the market and readers shouldn't miss seeking it out. This is a gorgeously matured dry Riesling classic from Ribeauvillé that drinks perfectly today and pairs with many kind of dishes. The wine has an intense citrus color and opens with a very clear, deep, dense and aromatic bouquet of dried fruits along with herbal and mineral aromas. Full-bodied, pure and elegant, yet complex and mineral on the palate, this is a silky textured but well-structured dry Riesling with intense and persistent fruit, fine tannins and lingering salinity. Bottled April 2009, this is a great dry Riesling blend from the Grands Crus Geisberg and Osterberg. Drink 2017-2038.’ 96 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, July 2017.
‘(13% alcohol; 9 g/l total acidity; 3 pH; 1 g/l residual sugar): Pale straw-green. Captivating, perfumed nose of yellow peach, fresh flowers, green apple, chlorophyll and talc; this is almost Mosel-like. Then fresh and saline in the mouth; juicy and dense, with laser-like acidity and wonderful clarity and cut to its white stone fruit and apple flavors. Finishes long and minerally, with a zesty edge that will leave your mouth watering. A mesmerizing Riesling. This vintage features one of the lowest levels of residual sugar Trimbach has ever had in their Frédéric Emile. Both of the Trimbach brothers feel that 2008 is the greatest vintage for the Frédéric Emile between 2005 and 2009, but I think that may be selling this wine short. To my taste, this is one of the top ten Frederic Emiles ever. Drink 2020-2036’ 94+ points, Ian d’Agata, Vinous, September 2013.
'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.