Pierre Trimbach
Photo Credit: Stephen Tanzer
printable version

The Trimbachs, who sell 45% of their wine in the U.S. market, report that pinot gris is now their biggest seller. According to winemaker Pierre Trimbach, yields were high in '99 and '97, with 2000 more moderate, like 1998; production of gewurztraminer was especially low in 2000, he added. Acidity levels were roughly similar in '99 and '00, but the fruit in 2000 began with a bit more sugar. Some of the estate 2000 tokays, most of which were picked in the second half of September before the worst of the rains, came in with record levels of potential alcohol. Even the Trimbachs' tokay SGNs were from fruit harvested at the end of September and beginning of October. "Only the latest-picked stuff was vulnerable to gray rot," noted Pierre. "We love the hot years," noted export director Jean Trimbach, "because we always have a lot of acidity here, much more than in vineyards farther south." (Chateau & Estate Wines, New York, NY)

2000 Trimbach Sylvaner Selection

Fruity aromas of lime, pineapple, grapefruit and coconut. Bright and juicy, with good structure for sylvaner. The Trimbachs enriched this wine by adding in, and stirring, the lees from some of their more important wines.

85

2000 Trimbach Muscat

Aromatic nose of lime blossom. Juicy, brisk and dry, with sound acidity. Finishes quite dry and firm, with decent persistence. Half of the large crop of muscat was declassified to the Trimbachs' edelswicker.

86

2000 Trimbach Pinot Blanc

Aromatic nose combines flowers, spices, butter and soft citrus fruits. Dry, penetrating and intensely flavored. Finishes slightly hard-edged and uncompromisingly dry.

85-87

2000 Trimbach Riesling

Musky aromas of lime, quinine and minerals. A step up in flavor intensity from the estate basic muscat and pinot blanc. Dry and minerally, with good cut and persistence.

86-88

2000 Trimbach Riesling Reserve

Musky aromas of ginger, quinine, lime, mint and minerals. Riper, suppler and richer than the basic riesling, but also with excellent cut and a stronger mineral character. From classic chalk and lime soils, mostly in and around Ribeauville.

88-90

2000 Trimbach Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile

Stony, musky aromas of lime and mint, with a faint lactic nuance that was probably due to the recent bottling. Rich and supple but bracing and fresh; aromatic inner-mouth flavors of grapefruit and wet stone. Lovely combination of spices, citrus fruits and minerals. This is 13.4% alcohol, with less than three grams per liter of residual sugar. "Close to the 1990 in style," notes Pierre.

92(+?)

2000 Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste. Hune

Highly perfumed, pure aromas of white grapefruit, lime, quinine and liquid stone. Very dense and chewy, with almost painful power and thrust and racy acidity. Very rich and very young. Tactile, palate-coating, very long finish of powdered stone. The yields were cut back sharply by a green harvest. This should be the best Clos Ste. Hune vintage since the classic '96.

93-96

2000 Trimbach Tokay-Pinot Gris Reserve

Expressive aromas of melon, pineapple, butter, coconut and spice, plus a charry note that not from wood. Supple, layered and dense; slightly sweet and in a pliant style but supported by sound, ripe acidity. Finishes with strong, persistent fruit. This represents about three-quarters of the final blend, says Pierre, and the finished wine will be a bit dryer than this sample, which is carrying about 9 g/l residual sugar.

89-90

2000 Trimbach Tokay-Pinot Gris Reserve Personnelle

Musky aromas of orange oil, minerals and hazelnut. Very ripe, concentrated and deep, but comes across as just off-dry thanks to sound acids and the substantial alcohol. Rather bracing tokay, with the balance and backbone to last well in bottle. The Trimbachs thinned the crop in early August and again in early September, ultimately bringing in just 45 hectoliters per hectare.

91

2000 Trimbach Tokay-Pinot Gris Hommage a Jeanne Trimbach

Superripe but bright aromas of peach and honey. Very rich and honeyed; sweeter and less alcoholic than the Reserve Personnelle, and more easygoing at this early stage. Some of this fruit was picked very late, at VT weight. This very rich, long tokay makes the Reserve Personnelle seem almost riesling-like by comparison. Still, there only a moderate 19 grams/liter of residual sugar here.

2000 Trimbach Gewurztraminer

Aromatic nose of clove, ginger and licorice. Fairly dense for basic gewurztraminer but a bit hard-edged today and in need of a racking. Quite rich but not yet showing much nuance.

86-87

2000 Trimbach Gewurztraminer Reserve

Finer, spicy nose. Fat, sweet and rather large-scaled; more powerful than the basic cuvee but still fairly dry and nicely fresh. Ripe, smooth and cleanly made, with a flavor of lichee.

88-90

2000 Trimbach Gewurztraminer Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre

Aromatic nose of cinnamon and rose petal. Very rich and spicy; already displays compelling inner-mouth perfume. Lovely ripe acids give this supple, fruit-filled wine terrific finesse. Finishes very long and spicy, and less sweet than its 18 grams/liter residual sugar would suggest. Pierre Trimbach feels it will be the best vintage for this bottling since the '90, with better acidity than that earlier year.

92

2000 Trimbach Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile Vendange Tardive

Exotic aromas of mirabelle, candied lime peel, coconut and spices. A highly concentrated, densely packed fruit bomb, with a sweet flavor of white peach enlivened by juicy, grapefruity acidity. Finishes very firm and long.

91-93

2000 Trimbach Tokay-Pinot Gris Vendange Tardive

Buttery aromas of peach, apricot, marmalade and nuts. A sweet, chewy fruit bomb, with 50 grams/liter residual sweetness largely hidden by harmonious, ripe acids. Not hugely complex but rich and inviting.

90-92

2000 Trimbach Gewurztraminer Vendanges Tardives

Pale gold color. Delicate aromas of rosewater, smoked meat and yellow plum. Fat and spicy, but could use a bit more verve. Flavors of canned fruit salad. Very rich, but seems a bit flabby for a Trimbach wine. Finishes with a trace of heat.

87-89

2000 Trimbach Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile Selection de Grains Nobles

Vibrant aromas of lime blossom, menthol and flowers. Superconcentrated, dense and penetrating, but not thick; the wine considerable sweetness is nicely buffered by strong (9 g/l), ripe acidity and solid underlying minerality. Even at SGN ripeness, this wine conveys strong riesling character. Finishes with outstanding, palate-staining persistence. The first Frederic Emile SGN since the '90.

93-95

2000 Trimbach Tokay-Pinot Gris Selection de Grains Nobles

Medium gold. Rather restrained aromas of tangerine, dried pit fruits, honey and licorice. Supersweet 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.

2000 Trimbach Gewurztraminer Selection de Grains Nobles

Medium gold. Highly aromatic nose of rose petal, honey and spices, plus a gamey nuance. Combines liqueur-like thickness and great verve; dense, chewy and pure, with a vibrant flavor of mandarin orange. Like a solid in the mouth, and extremely long on the finish. The best sweet gewurztraminer produced here since the tiny quantity of '89 SGN Hors Choix.

93-96

1999 Trimbach Pinot Blanc

Spicy aromas of peach and vanilla. Dry, fresh and reasonably intense, but a wine of modest complexity. Has solid structure but finishes slightly aggressive.

85

1999 Trimbach Muscat Reserve

Subdued floral and citrus aromas. Dry, fresh and nicely concentrated; offers a mouthcleansing quality and good length and grip.

86

1999 Trimbach Riesling Reserve

Musky, highly aromatic nose of lime and quinine. Steely and penetrating; quite dry and uncompromising, in the style of so many '99s. Classic bone-dry Trimbach wine, but perhaps a bit dominated by its spine. But then this wine won't be released for nearly two years. Finishes with good length.

87(+?)

1999 Trimbach Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile

Subtle, pure aromas of pineapple and white flowers. Shows only moderate ripeness and texture for this bottling, but boasts complex, fresh flavors of lime, white grapefruit, cut hay and grass. Finishes with noteworthy purity of flavor and sneaky persistence. Probably better than it showing today.

89(+?)

1999 Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste. Hune

Very closed nose hints at pineapple and minerals. Fuller and denser in the mouth than the Frederic Emile, with classic flavors of citrus skin and mineral dust, along with Chablis-like muskiness and hazelnut. Very long, dusty and brisk on the finish. Like the Frederic Emile, this is painfully unevolved today.

91(+?)

1998 Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste. Hune

Very complex nose melds lime, mint, powdered stone, licorice and a light petrol note. Dense, rich, chewy and firm; supple and ripe but solidly structured for aging. Finishes very long and minerally. Loads of potential. (But the '97 Clos Ste. Hune, a wine of compelling minerality, is even richer and more layered; I'll stick with my original score of 94(+?) for the earlier wine, which I retasted in May alongside the '98.)

92(+?)

1999 Trimbach Tokay-Pinot Gris Reserve

Almond blossom, spices and a smoky note on the nose. Moderately rich and spicy, but not especially complex. Just off-dry but finishes with a faint hard edge.

88

1999 Trimbach Tokay-Pinot Gris Reserve Personnelle

Ripe aromas of dried fruits and nuts. Sweeter in the mouth than the Pinot Gris Reserve, but also fresher and shapelier. Here the back end is slightly bitter-edged but downright refreshing. Finishes with good grip and sneaky length.

90

1999 Trimbach Gewurztraminer

Musky aromas of cinnamon, clove and flowers. Juicy and on the lean side, with good concentration and clean flavors. A distinctly dry gewurztraminer, with a spicy, slightly aggressive finish.

85

1999 Trimbach Gewurztraminer Reserve

Perfumed aroma of clove. Denser and more chewy than the basic gewurztraminer, with a strong spicy character. This is distinctly suppler and more layered. Dry but fat: a distinct step up from the basic bottling.

87

1999 Trimbach Gewurztraminer Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre

Pure, spicy aromas of rose petal and cinnamon. Pliant, concentrated and very ripe; just a touch sweet but with sound balancing acidity. This has noteworthy flavor intensity and persistence for a gewurztraminer from this vintage.

89

1999 Trimbach Tokay-Pinot Gris Vendange Tardive

Pale gold. High-toned aromas of marmalade, candied citrus peel and honey. Very concentrated, superripe flavors of apricot and honey; not hugely complex but fresh and lively. A captivating fruit bomb.

91

1999 Trimbach Gewurztraminer Vendanges Tardives

Reticent, spicy aromas of clove, smoke and rose petal. Lively and brisk for VT; not especially dense or complex but should offer considerable early appeal. In a rather easy style for an offering from this house.

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