2016 Domaine Trimbach, Riesling “Cuvée Frédéric Emile” Vin d’Alsace, France.
One of Alsace’s most coveted wine, the Cuvée Frédéric Emile is always a treasured treat and this 2016 is incredibly delicate and quietly confident on the lighter medium bodied palate with subtle aromatics and core of apple, lime and white peach fruits, along with crystalline mineral intensity, wet stone, dried ginger, loam, tea spices and white florals. Trimbach’s lineup is full of quality, but certainly the two top wines, their legendary Clos Ste. Hune and this Cuvée Frédéric Emile are among the greatest dry Rieslings on earth. While I have had the pleasure of experiencing the rarity of the majestic Clos Ste. Hune and this Cuvée Frédéric Emile many times. This is brilliant wine and a savvy choice for Riesling lovers, especially when you compare it to top white Burgundies and or some famous GG’s from Germany. Trimbach’s glorious Cuvée Frédéric Emile Riesling, as mentioned is always a special treat, and pulling out a bottle like this is a great reason to celebrate life’s treasures and gives much to be grateful for. This vintage needs time to evolve in bottle, while beautiful in detail and very graceful, there’s a lot more to come here and I suggest another 5 to 10 years of cellaring to receive the full promise and depth here.
The Trimbach estate, as noted before, 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. Trimbach’s Rieslings are signature efforts, but I also fully endorse exploring their compete collection, and in particular the Pinot Gris bottlings.
($75 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive