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Trimbach Riesling Geisberg Grand Cru 2018

Trimbach Riesling Geisberg Grand Cru 2018

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Practising Organic
Variety: Riesling
Country, Region: France, Alsace
Appellation: 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.

'The 2018 Grand Cru Geisberg Riesling opens with very ripe, if not partly overripe or dried fruit and some lactic notes on the nose that lacked focus and precision. I asked for a second bottle and got one that had been opened two days before. This was pure, fresh and precisely representative of the Geisberg terroir with stony and saline notes. On the palate, this is an opulent, dense and baroque-styled Riesling with power, sweetness (just 3.9 grams per liter) and a firm and concentrated finish. This is another wine that needs some years to relax and breathe. Tasted at the domaine in May 2022.’ 92+ points, Stephan Reinhardt, The Wine Advocate, May 2023.

'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.

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