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.
WINE NOTES AND REVIEWS - CURRENT VINTAGES
2016 Trimbach Pinot Blanc
‘Bright straw. Delicately honeyed white stone fruit aromas and flavors. Lively and zingy, boasting good concentration of flavor and a delightful lingering fruity juiciness. A really delicious Alsace Pinot Blanc that offers plenty of early appeal. As is common in Alsace, despite being labeled as Pinot Blanc, it is actually about 80% Auxerrois and 20% Pinot Blanc.’ 91 points, Ian d’Agata, Vinous, April 2018.
2015 Trimbach Riesling
‘Bright straw-green. Peony, mirabelle and mint on the enticing nose. Crisp and fresh in the mouth, with very high but harmonious acidity nicely shaping the ripe flavors of peach and lychee; is there just a trace of super-ripe grapes thrown in the blend here? Manages the neat trick of tasting lemony fresh and very light on its feet while delivering sneaky concentration and depth. Outstanding entry-level Riesling wine.’ 91 points, Ian d’Agata, Vinous, March 2017.
2014 Trimbach Riesling Vieilles Vignes
‘Bright straw-yellow. Subdued, delicate aromas of lime, green apple, wet stone and tarragon. Soft and supple on entry, then turns more taut in the middle and finishes suave, dry and long, with bracing yellow apple and fresh herb flavors but no sharp edges. This youthful wine will need plenty of bottle age to reach optimal drinkability. Trimbach does not produce this selection every year (recently, it was made in 09, '11, '12 and '14), only when there are enough high-quality grapes to make it without compromising the quality of the Réserve bottling. In fact, this wine is almost always a little richer and deeper than the Réserve. Drink 2017-2026’ 91+ points, Ian d’Agata, Vinous, February 2016.
2016 Trimbach Riesling Réserve
‘Bright straw-green. Slightly reticent aromas of green fruit and fresh herbs are complemented by a vibrant lemony tang. Fresh and clean, showing a stony nuance to the crisp nectarine and sweet herb flavors. Finishes long and bright, with a hint of sucrosité. This is still a little shut down and needs time to open; I’d cellar it for another year or two to let it start showing its best. The grapes are picked in vineyards around the towns of Ribeauvillé, Hunawihr, and Bergheim.’ 90+ points, Ian d’Agata, Vinous, April 2018.
2015 Trimbach Pinot Gris Réserve
‘From purchased grapes from the Haut-Rhin department, the 2015 Pinot Gris Réserve displays perfectly ripe and concentrated mango fruit with smoky flavors. On the palate, this is a rich and fruity, very fine and elegant Pinot in the dry style. The 2015 was bottled with 14% alcohol and seven grams of residual sugar. It is an excellent Pinot Gris that can stand even the Geisberg Grand Cru due to its richness, sweetness and structure. It is not as complex but, well, pretty sexy. Drink 2019-2025’ 89 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, July 2017.
2013 Trimbach Pinot Noir Réserve
'2013 was "an excellent vintage for Pinot Noir," says Pierre Trimbach serving the 2013 Pinot Noir Réserve: "We picked healthy grapes with good maturity and good acidity levels." The grapes were picked with a potential alcohol of 13% and the must was completely fermented in inox but stored in concrete vats and old wooden casks. Dark berry and cherry flavors on the very aromatic, fresh and floral bouquet which is lovely pure and elegant. Silky textured, very fruity, fresh and clear, with fine tannins this is a super, well balanced and stimulating Pinot Noir in a lighter style, with less extraction but swing and an appetizing grip. Drink 2016-2021.' 86 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, October 2015.
2014 Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve Personnelle
‘A very elegant dry pinot gris with a delicate floral-honey nose. Rich yet polished on the palate. A clean and long finish. An excellent wine for sophisticated French cuisine. Drink or hold. ’92 points, Stuart Pigott, JamesSuckling.com, May 2018.
‘Bright yellow. Sexy peach, strawberry nectar and orange oil on the perfumed nose. Rich, powerful and dry; this currently uncompromising wine is much bigger, richer and rounder than the Pinot Gris Réserve. It's almost sweet by Trimbach’s standards (7 or 8 g/l residual sugar) but has enough lively acidity to age well. The bright finish features delicate floral reminders. Not obviously better than the Pinot Gris Réserve today, but it surely will be in time. Drink 2019-2028.’ 91 points, Ian d’Agata, Vinous, February 2016.
2011 Trimbach Gewürztraminer Cuvée des Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre (375ml)
Produced from old vines in the former wine estate of the Lords of Ribeaupierre in the Osterberg Grand Cru, along with fruit from Muhlforst and Rosacker in Hunawihr.
'The 2011 Gewurztraminer Cuvée des Seigneurs Ribeaupierre is deep and smoky on the nose, rich, concentrated, ripe and exciting, with lots of citrus flavors. Full-bodied, rich, intense and tension-filled on the palate, this is a complex and mineral Gewurz that is a fresh, precise, salty, fresh and lovely tannic wine with a long and complex finish. A great Gewurz, indeed. Drink 2017-2050.' 94 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, July 2017.
2008 Trimbach Gewürztraminer Cuvée des Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre
‘Fresh lime and its zest lend the Trimbach 2008 Gewurztraminer Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre a rather Riesling-like aura, while a hint of sweetness supports its notes of litchi and melon, which fruit pit and citrus peel bitterness helps to balance-out for a virtually dry finishing impression. Full and rich – I can see why the decision was taken not to let it ferment below 13 grams of residual sugar – this evinces fascinating low-tones of smoked meat, peat, and clove in a persistent, if faintly warm finish.’ 90 points, David Schildknecht, RobertParker.com, May 2011.
2010 Trimbach Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile 375ml (750ml SOLD OUT)
This wine is named for Frédéric Emile Trimbach who became famous for providing a new guarantee of quality and authenticity for Trimbach in 1898. The south and south-east facing Ribeauvillé Grand Crus of Geisberg and Osterberg have been producing this wine for several generations. The average age of the vines, 45 years, results in limited yields.
“The 2010 Trimbach Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile is a classic in the making, with lemony and stony echoes to the apple, lime and pear aromas and flavors. This will keep for decades in a good cellar, but bottled in the 375ml format it proves surprisingly approachable.” 94+ points, Ian d’Agata, Vinous, November 2018.
2009 Trimbach Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile
'(13.8% alcohol; 7.5 g/l total acidity; 3.09 pH; 3 g/l residual sugar): Pale straw-green. Delicate notes of cinnamon, sage and lemongrass on the enticing nose. Rich, dense and structured, with spicy white fruit, quince, fresh herbs and minty nuances on the structured palate. Finishes fresh and long, with a surprising amount of flesh, not surprising perhaps in a vintage that yielded some very heavy wines at other famous estates. Unlike many other wines made in this hot, dry growing season with a late harvest and little or no botrytis), this Frédéric Emile struck me as excellent and rather fresh.' 92 points, Ian d’Agata, Vinous, September 2013.
2008 Trimbach Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile
‘(13% alcohol; 9 g/l total acidity; 3 pH; 1 g/l residual sugar): Pale straw-green. Captivating, perfumed nose of yellow peach, fresh flowers, green apple, chlorophyll and talc; this is almost Mosel-like. Then fresh and saline in the mouth; juicy and dense, with laser-like acidity and wonderful clarity and cut to its white stone fruit and apple flavors. Finishes long and minerally, with a zesty edge that will leave your mouth watering. A mesmerizing Riesling. This vintage features one of the lowest levels of residual sugar Trimbach has ever had in their Frédéric Emile. Both of the Trimbach brothers feel that 2008 is the greatest vintage for the Frédéric Emile between 2005 and 2009, but I think that may be selling this wine short. To my taste, this is one of the top ten Frederic Emiles ever. Drink 2020-2036’ 94+ points, Ian d’Agata, Vinous, September 2013.
2007 Trimbach Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile
”Aromas of cooked pear, apple and white pineapple follow through to a full body with incredible dryness and a mineral finish. White pepper and oyster shell too. This is so serious and unforgiving yet a phenomenon. Owners say it is the driest Fred ever. Drink now.” 97 points, Jamessuckling.com, September 2015
(13.3% alcohol; 7.9 g/l total acidity; 3 pH; 0.7 g/l residual sugar): Pale straw-green color. Quince, chlorophyll, licorice, menthol, jasmine and lemon verbena on a nose that's surprisingly perfumed for what was a very warm vintage. Fragrant, fresh and clean on entry, with harmonious but lively acidity lifting the lemon and lime flavors complicated by minty herbs, quinine and licorice. Minerally and penetrating on the long, saline finish, showing more flesh than some other Frédéric Emile vintages. The 2007 vintage began like 2011, with very early flowering and veraison dates, but 2007 was fresher overall. A few September rains had people fearing a repeat of 2006 (when inclement fall weather damaged harvest quality), and many producers pulled the trigger too soon, picking grapes that were not fully ripe.' 92 points, Ian d’Agata, Vinous, September 2013.
2015 Trimbach Riesling Cuvée M (M for Mandelberg Grand Cru)
‘Vivid straw-green. Pear and dried fruit on the rich, ripe nose and palate. Round and suave, but also fresh and juicy, offering a strong saline note and insidious sweetness on the long, precise finish. Extremely tannic and very much in the ample style of the 2015 vintage and of the Mandelberg, a very calcaire site that is known for its warmer microclimate (in fact, almond trees manage to grow there). Really lovely wine - in fact, one of the prettiest young Cuvée Ms I remember having. Trimbach tells me that in 2016, should they like the wine and decide to bottle it (it depends on the vintage, clearly), they will name the wine Mandelberg outright (so no more Cuvée M).’ 93 points, Ian d’Agata, Vinous, March 2017.
2016 Trimbach Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg
”Pale vivid straw. Perfumed nose of lemon verbena, jasmine and white stone fruit. Enters ripe and juicy, then slightly more austere, but precise stone fruit and herbal flavors linger nicely on the long, youthfully chewy finish. Trimbach makes this wine from a 1.6-hectare parcel of 35-year-old vines on extremely poor soils of mainly granite with very little topsoil (save for the plot’s middle section, which is more fertile). The Trimbach family uses only the vines located above and below the central part, those planted on the poorest and thinnest soils of the site, to make this wine. Pierre Trimbach tells me that every time he exceeds yields of 35 hL/ha here, the wine just isn’t good enough to bottle. Trimbach bought this vineyard in 2012 and declassified it in both 2012 and 2013, so the first vintage was the 2014. The vines are located right above the Chateau in Kientzheim.” 92 points, Ian d’Agata, Vinous, April 2018.
2014 Trimbach Riesling Grand Cru Geisberg
'The 2014 Grand Cru Geisberg Riesling opens with a clear, ripe and intense, well-concentrated and complex bouquet with crushed stone, lemon peel and herbal aromas. Full-bodied, juicy, intense and piquant, with good concentration and complexity, this is a full-bodied, dense and persistent Riesling with firm, yet still somewhat austere tannins and good acidity. I suppose this will be a great Geisberg in 10 or more years, but not much earlier. A very promising Riesling!' 93+ points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, July 2017.
PRESTIGE AND RARE AND LIMITED WINES
2014 Trimbach Clos Ste Hune - due December 2019
”A stunning wine with ethereal aromas of sliced apple, sliced pear and mineral character. Flowers and honeysuckle too. Full-bodied, very tight and dense. It goes so deep and beautiful. Bright and tangy acidity. Has the depth of a great vintage of grand cru Burgundy but is so Clos Ste. Hune in character. Muscularly feminine and breathtaking. Available in 2019.”
99 points Jamessuckling.com, September 2015
”The 2014 Riesling Clos Ste Hune is clear and intense on the concentrated nose, offering ripe white-fruit aromas. On the palate, this is a bone-dry, vital and finessed Riesling with a long and tension-filled, salty finish. The 2014 is a kind of quintessence of the Ribeauvillé/Hunawihr terroir: pure, lean, stony and salty, with no flesh, but lots of bones and minerals at this very early moment. Picked at 35 hl/ha this is a straight Sainte Hune that will last for for 30+ years.” 96 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, July 2017.
2011 Trimbach Clos Ste Hune
”The 2011 Riesling Clos Ste Hune (in the market now, and which Pierre Trimbach compares with the 1983) is super ripe, rich, intense and complex on the nose. On the palate, this is a rich and concentrated, powerful but elegant and balanced Sainte Hune that currently lacks a bit of tension and vitality. However, the tannins will take the 2011 through many years, even though there is an initial hint of maturity already. Some caramel flavors in the finish. Bottled with 13.9% alcohol plus 6.6 of residual sugar.” 93 points, Stephan Reinhardt, RobertParker.com, July 2017.
2008 Trimbach Pinot Gris Vendanges Tardives
‘The 2008 Pinot Gris Vendange Tardive is, at 60 grams residual sugar, unabashedly and for a Trimbach V.T. surprisingly sweet. But then, it had already reached 13.7% alcohol. A remarkable nose – vegetarians beware! – suggests smoked pork, sauteed veal sweetbreads, and truffle-studded foie gras, and the palate is just as sinfully rich as the nose implies, encompassing as well a honeyed intensity of quince and mirabelle preserves; white Burgundy-like toasted brioche; and hints of brown spices. This is a meal unto itself, and for all of its amplitude reveals a sense of buoyancy. But it will take many years for the sense of sweetness to significantly back-off. One could certainly plan on following this for a quarter century.’ 92 points, David Schildknecht RobertParker.com February 2008.
2015 Trimbach Gewürztraminer Vendanges Tardives 375ML
‘A gewurztraminer masterpiece! Smells like walking through a tropical garden at dawn. On the palate, it is creamy and elegant at the same time. With just enough sweetness to fit into this category and just enough acidity to make the finish very long. Pure and precise. Delicious now, but the track record of this wine suggests that it has at least 10 years of aging potential.’ 96 points, Stuart Pigott, JamesSuckling.com, May 2018.
‘Bright golden-tinged yellow. Pure lemon, minerals and honeyed mango on the knockout nose. Very pure and elegant, offering flavors of grapefruit, menthol and candied violet. Finishes long and clean, displaying a delicate flintiness and a ripe honeyed note. Luscious and precise, but doesn’t seem especially sweet (though at 65 g/L residual sugar, this is no slouch in the “sugar load” department). Lovely balance from start to finish and will likely prove very ageworthy. Made with practically only passerillé (air-dried) grapes, with little or no noble rot to speak of. Drink 2023-2038.’ 93+ points, Ian d’Agata, Vinous, March 2017.
2000 Trimbach Pinot Gris Selection de Grains Nobles
‘Medium gold. Rather restrained aromas of tangerine, dried pit fruits, honey and licorice. Super sweet and thick, with powerful (10 grams/liter) acidity keeping the flavors fresh. A wine of great sucrosity but very clean and vibrant on the finish. To get concentration like this, says Jean, we usually need to harvest a month later. This bottling was previously offered in '94 and '90, but the 2000 version will probably be even longer-lived than those earlier vintages. RS 100g/l.’ 93-95 points, Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, July 2001.
2007 Trimbach Gewürztraminer Selection de Grains Nobles Hors Choix
‘The 2007 Gewurztraminer Selection de Grains Nobles Hors Choix represents a cuvee designation that the Trimbachs also utilized in 1989 and 2000 for wine of near Esszencia-like richness. Essence of rose petal along with mirabelle preserves, mint candy, and brown spices on the nose are joined on a thickly-rich palate by honey, chocolate, and white raisin. Yet for all of its richness and gaudy, candied set of flavors, this preserves a juicy sense of leavening and refreshment in a finish of extraordinary persistence, its sweetness not in the least cloying. This should be a 50 year wine.’ 96 points, David Schildknecht, RobertParker.com, April 2010.
2008 Trimbach Gewürztraminer Selection de Grains Nobles Hors Choix
”Bright medium gold. Fresh apricot, honey and caraway seed on the vibrant nose; not at all a dried-fruit style of SGN. Dense and silky, with superb harmonious acidity giving outstanding energy to the honeyed, botrytis-rich middle palate. Boasts a wonderful purity of fresh apricot fruit. Best today on the extremely long, mounting, palate-staining finish, where the honeyed botrytis notes echo. Still an infant today; time in bottle may well merit an even higher rating.” 93+ points, Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, November 2010.
2001 Trimbach Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile Selection de Grains Nobles
‘(made from the third of three passes through Trimbach's holding in the grand cru Geisberg, on November 5) Pale medium-gold color. Exotic yellow fruits, roasted pineapple and white raisin on the nose. Hugely sweet but sappy, pure and focused. A large-scaled fruit bomb, with penetrating spice and caraway seed notes and electric acidity. Not at all overly sweet at 74 grams/liter residual sugar. A brilliant example of the ineffably pure botrytis of this vintage: even at SGN ripeness, this is still clearly identifiable as riesling. In the past couple of decades, this wine has been made only in 1989, 1990, 2000 and 2001. There's always a breeze coming through the deep valley of Aubeure, notes Pierre, so it's rare that any kind of rot takes root on this fruit.’ 96+ points, Stephen Tanzer, Vinous, November 2003.