Country, Region: France, Alsace
Trimbach now farm 2.66 ha of this tiny Grand cru site which rises up steeply above the village of Ribeauville on the northern side of the village. Trimbach established themselves in Ribeauville in the 1890’s after moving from Hunawihr which was located off the tourist road and which saw less tourist visitors. Geisberg is the third smallest of the Alsace Grand cru sites and is composed of many terraces over limestone and sandstone subsoil. In 2008 Trimbach were granted the lease of the holding owned by the Covent of Ribeauville and the lease was granted to Trimbach on the condition that Trimbach recognised both the village and the Grand cru when selling the wine, hence the birth of this wine which was first released from 2009 vintage. Riesling from this well exposed south-facing site produces powerful wines with typically great ageing capacity. In 2016 the wine carries 1.1 gms/litre residual sugar and 6.95 gms/l total acidity.
'Bright luminous straw. Complex aromas of white peach, talcum powder, anise and balsamic oils. Enters full and round, then slightly more austere, displaying a minty quality to the ripe yellow stone fruit flavors. Finishes long and savory with a strong note of licorice. A very complex, balanced wine that will age well. The Geisberg grand cru is very complex geologically; Trimbach’s vines, rented from the Convent of Ribeauvillé, grow on marly-calcareous and sandstone soils. Interestingly, nobody farms more of the Geisberg than does Trimbach today (3.5 hectares of the total 8.5 hectares of the Geisberg).’ 93 points, Ian d’Agata, Vinous, April 2018.
'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.