Trimbach Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile 2013

£46.99

“From the south and south-east facing Ribeauvillé grands crus Geisberg and Osterberg with low-yielding vines averaging 45 years old, the 2013 Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile displays a deep, complex and very elegant bouquet of ripe, rather tropical fruit aromas along with some floral flavors. Full-bodied, juicy, round and elegant on the palate, this mineral-laced and well-structured wine indicates a firm but ripe acidity and a lingering salinity as well as an impressively pure and mineral length. Powerful and with great aging potential. In the market is still the 2009 vintage whereas the earliest date of release of the 2013 is 2018. Drink: 2018-2035. 92+ points

Pierre Trimbach was in a hurry when he presented me the 2013 range along with some of the 2012s, which are still in the markets. However, 90 minutes wewa enough to learn that 2013 as well as 2014 were small vintages in terms of quantity, but at least the 2013s have an extraordinary good quality; namely, the age worthy Rieslings (with the world class Clos Sainte Hune on the top and the remarkably good Geisberg Grand Cru), but also the dry Gewurztraminers, especially the Réserve and the rarely produced Cuvée des Seigneurs Ribeaupierre, are impressively good. Pierre Trimbach calls 2012 “a classic vintage.” The sugar levels were “good though not exceptional.” Also, the acidity was “good — not as high as in 2010, 2013 and 2014, but better than in 2011.” Last but not least, the quantity is better than in 2010, 2013 and 2014. Some of the vines suffered from drought, but the Rieslings (which were mainly sourced in the southern part of the region) are of excellent quality and provided with a very good aging potential (which is important for a domaine that sells more than 50% Rieslings or 350,000 bottles).

For Trimbach fans, it is important to know that the family has launched the first-ever terroir named wine, the 2009 Riesling Grand Cru Geisberg. Although I did not taste the 2009, I was impressed by the quality of the 2013 and rated it even higher than the iconic Cuvée Frédéric Emile (yet not so from the 2012 vintage). The grapes from the 2.6 ha plot on the Geisberg have always been part of the famous Cuvée, which has always been (and will remain) a blend of the Osterberg and Geisberg grands crus of Ribeauvillé. But since the nuns of the Couvent de Ribeauvillé, from whom the grapes have always being bought, insisted that the quality of the grapes were worth to be used for an exclusive Geisberg Grand Cru (“otherwise…”), Trimbach had to accept and so the domaine’s first declared Grand Cru was born.

Most likely there will be a second Grand Cru soon. In 2012 the Trimbach family purchased a plot in the Kientzheim Grand Cru Schlossberg. Whereas the vintages 2012 and 2013 were finally blended with the classic Trimbach Riesling, the 2014 seems good enough to become Trimbach’s second Grand Cru. Pierre Trimbach: “We had to restore the vineyard first and force the roots to go deeper into the shallow granite soil, otherwise we would have big stress problems in dry vintages.”

The Clos Sainte Hune, however, sourced from a 1.67 hectare small plot within the Rosacker Grand Cru that has been family-owned for more than 200 years, will remain what it is is — a brand wine. Consumers think it is a terroir wine anyway, and even when not, they will consider it as one of the finest dry Rieslings on planet wine.

Trimbach fans should also include the domaine when it comes to detecting Alsace’s potential for great Pinot Noir. Trimbach’s Réserve Personelle (or Réserve Cuve 7 in France) is on a good way in any case.”

Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (221)

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