2007 Domaine Trimbach, Riesling “Cuvée Frédéric Émile” Vin d’Alsace, France.
This time of year always makes for a great time to celebrate life with special treats, and without question the Trimbach Family’s glorious Cuvée Frédéric Emile is a special treat, with everything going on in the world, it should be a time of reflection and grace highlighted by moments of joy and inner peace, which pulling out a bottle like this is reason to celebrate life’s treasures and gives much to be grateful for. Trimbach’s lineup is full of quality, but certainly the two top wines, their legendary Clos Ste. Hune and this Cuvée Frédéric Emile are their jewels and are among the greatest dry Rieslings on earth. While I have had the pleasure of experiencing the rarity of the majestic Clos Ste. Hune, this Cuvée Frédéric Emile is also a brilliant wine and a ridiculously good value, especially when you compare it to top white Burgundies and or some famous GG’s from Germany. The 2007, which was first released in 2013 saw five years of bottle age in the Trimbach cellars before being unleashed to the public and it has only got better, I’ve been lucky to have sampled it three times now with total admiration for its delicacy and mineral driven nature along with the layering of evolving and complex fruit. This gripping Riesling has a bright intensity and an every improving textural quality with an array of citrus and stone fruits, flinty/steely notes along with an earthy stony core that is wonderfully accented by a hint of classic petrol fumes, ginger, clove and rosewater. The 2007 Cuvée Frédéric Emile is not a flamboyant vintage by any means, but it has a quiet confidence that carries with it a noble presence in the glass, it gains a maturity of form that is seductively emerging at present and making it a wine to plan a whole evening and meal around. I have tasted quite a few vintages in the last 10 years and have never been disappointed with this wine and this 2007 is one to be cherished, along with the 2008 and 2011, which are also divine examples of this treasured nectar.
Pierre Trimbach, the winemaker, says 2007 was a miracle vintage with a warm spring, with some difficult ups and down along the way to a beautiful harvests season, with the top dry wines showing excellent precision and purity, which this Cuvée Frédéric Emile shows with transparent charm and depth. This wine is lovely now, though many people are hiding their prized bottles in the cellar to allow it fully develop its secondary flavors and soften its powerful dry extract and vivacious acidic backbone. I would be hard pressed not to open it sooner versus later, because I love where it is at and would mostly drink it with either crab cakes or sushi given the chance. The Trimbach estate, located near the village of Ribeauvillé, which dates back to 1626, has seen 12 generations with Hubert Trimbach being the patriarch of this wine growing family winery, with Pierre Trimbach currently running the cellar at this famous Alsace domaine. The Cuvée Frédéric Émile, which has been made and gathering awards since 1898, is hand crafted from two outstanding vineyards, the Grand Cru Geisberg and the Grand Cru Osterberg, both of which are set on Alsace’s limestone, sandstone and gravelly soils with some old vines on steep south facing slopes with small parcels that have ancient style terraces to capture sunshine, giving this Riesling its complexity and ripe density. The calcareous underpinning and the seashell fossils called “Muschelkalk” give the Emile its personality and the gentle winemaking, including a slow pneumatic pressing with the carefully selected grapes seeing fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, with the wine never seeing wood and getting bottled early to preserve its freshness. This bone dry Riesling is one of the world’s most iconic wines and should be part of every wine lovers journey into the classics, and if you can’t find this particular vintage, don’t be distressed, you’ll still be rewarded regardless of the year on the label, such is the exacting precision each release of Cuvée Frédéric Émile delivers.
($60 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive