Easy-Going and Straightforward Alsatian Riesling

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 the 2016 Gewurztraminer and 2014 Clos Ste Hune from Trimbach.

Today’s Wine: 2009 Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile

100% Riesling; 13.5% ABV

The 2009 Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile is pale gold in color. The aromas are of medium (+) intensity, but the nose is rather straightforward offering up notes of peach, yellow apple, apricot, lime zest, petrol, slate, and mineral. Meanwhile the flavors are also of medium (+) intensity and the palate showcases classic notes of peach, ripe pear, apricot, lime, white florals, limestone, and petrol. This dry Riesling is medium- to full-bodied with medium (+) acidity, medium alcohol, and a long finish. This is a very good and straightforward wine, though I think there are stronger vintages of the Cuvée Frédéric Emile.

Price: $65. This is in a very competitive price-point to where I do think there are better values out there when it comes to dry Riesling. Whether it be bottlings a fraction of the cost or Grand Cru options around this price, there are a number of options. Though that’s not to be said without admitting this is a very high-quality bottling from a world-renowned producer.

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