Legendary Alsatian Riesling With a Long Life Ahead

Today’s Story: Maison Trimbach

Maison Trimbach is one of the most notable winemakers in Alsace, established in 1626 by Jean Trimbach. Today Trimbach is under the guidance of Hubert Trimbach and his nephews Jean and Pierre, rounding out 12 generations of family ownership and shared knowledge. Pierre’s daughter Anne, the oldest of the 13th generation, also now works in the family business. Though Trimbach’s world recognition greatly expanded in 1898 when Frédéric Emile Trimbach earned the highest marks at the International Wine Fair in Brussels, Trimbach is largely famous for the legendary Clos Sainte Hune vineyard. Located in the Rosacker Grand Cru vineyard, Clos Ste Hune has belonged to the Trimbach family for over two centuries and produces some of the most exquisite Alsatian Riesling in existence.

The Trimbach estate consists of 40 hectares (about 100 acres) encompassing 50 parcels across six villages that include Bergheim, Ribeauvillé, and Hunawihr. Trimbach also operates as a négociant business to produce additional non-estate wines. All of Trimbach’s winegrowing practices are sustainable and they try to preserve the natural environment of the vineyards. Trimbach practices close pruning and soil tilling while encouraging moderate yields and rigorous fruit selection come harvest which is accomplished entirely by hand. When the grapes are gently crushed at the winery, juices flow via gravity and Pierre vinifies and matures the wines adhering to centuries of tradition with both finesse and focus on the terroir. After being bottled each spring, the wines are released by maturity with some spending 5 to 7 years in the cellars to achieve balance before release.

I previously wrote about Trimbach when I reviewed their 2016 Gewurztraminer, so feel free to check that out if you missed it!

Today’s Wine: 2014 Clos Ste Hune

100% Riesling; 14.5% ABV

The 2014 Clos Ste Hune is pale yellow in color with greenish hints. Aromas are of pronounced intensity and laser-focused, with the nose showcasing lemon, crisp green apple, tropical citrus, white peach, honeysuckle, petrol, a hint of smoke, and crushed rock mineral. Meanwhile flavors on the palate are also of pronounced intensity, displaying notes of green apple, lemon zest, pineapple, white peach, white florals, petrol, mild smoke, and saline mineral. This Riesling is bone dry and full-bodied with razor-sharp high acidity, high alcohol, and a long finish. Outstanding with a long, long life ahead but this is already showing incredible precision and balance.

Price: $300. This is another wine with a value proposition that’s difficult to discuss, simply because there are better “values” out there for significantly less money. That being said though, these wines are truly legendary and perhaps the greatest Riesling the Alsace region has to offer. It’s certainly the best Riesling I’ve had to date, by a mile.

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