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.
'A fabulous wine with spice, mineral, salt and dried fruits. Hints of pear and dried apple too. Full and layered with great depth and power. Salty. Limestone and degraded fossilized seashells.' 94 points, Stephan Reinhardt, Vinous Media, December 2015
'Vivid straw-green. Delicate nuances of jasmine and lemon verbena complicate aromas of green apple, lime and minerals. Pure and penetrating on the palate, boasting superb definition to the flavors of gin, mint, minerals, violet and lemon zest. The finish is remarkably crystalline and long. This Frédéric Emile is currently dominated by its Osterberg component (the cuvée is a blend of Osterberg and Geisberg grand cru grapes), which brings chiseled acidity, as opposed to the Geisberg’s ripe fruit personality and licorice quality. Despite the difficult year, this is likely to become a memorable Frédéric Emile. So much so, in fact, that it’s currently impossible to choose between it and the more famous Clos Sainte Hune.' 94 points, Ian d’Agata, Vinous, December 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.