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.
‘The 2012 Riesling Frédéric Emile starts clear, subtle and very elegant on the floral nose. Elegant, piquantly mineral and finesse-full on the palate, with a lot of Spiel and restrained power but also some petrol hints (?) this bottling shows a nice purity and a long and tension-filled finish. A real Trimbach classic to be enjoyed over the next 20+ years.’ 93+ points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, October 2015.
‘This is really exciting. I can't believe the palate of lemon, oyster shell, stone and apple. Full-bodied, dry and exciting. It goes on for minutes. Such grandeur and complexity.’ 96 points, Jamessuckling.com, Sept 2015.
'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.