Trimbach 1997 Pinot Gris “Réserve Personnelle” (Alsace) — There’s a lot not going on here. Over the hill with entirely present oxidation, so while it’s possible other bottles will be more intact, it’s also possible this is premoxed (though I usually date Trimbach’s problems with premox to ’98, not ’97). (11/16)
Boxler 2012 Muscat (Alsace) — Surprisingly reticent for a muscat, taking what used to be a fairly common alternative Alsatian expression of “extremely floral riesling” more seriously than most. (10/16
Blanck 2012 Auxerrois “Viellies Vignes” (Alsace) — Very nervy for auxerrois, which so much more often provides the flesh for pinot blanc’s verve in bottles only labeled the latter. But there is flesh, and weight, and yet it’s the cut that’s so exciting here. Should it age? Auxerrois’ not known as a long ager, but why not? (10/16)
Trimbach 1998 Riesling Clos Ste-Hune (Alsace) — The dreaded premature oxidation that has afflicted a number of turn-of-the-millennium wines from Trimbach rears its ugly head here. It’s far from total obliteration, but it’s persistent and dulls every bit of the experience. Behind the stale tin there’s a round, almost boisterous core of salty iron and fir needles, but among the other affects of the oxidation are an attenuated finish. The wine actually gains strength with time out of bottle, but the flaw never really goes away. A shame. (6/16)
Trimbach 1989 Riesling Clos Ste-Hune “Vendanges Tardives” “Hors Choix” (Alsace)
I don’t normally include tasting notes in the the blog’s main feed (they’re exiled here), because I feel that they’re one of the least interesting ways to talk about wine. (The worst are point or ranking systems, of course.) But this bottle overflows with personal meaning…both its past and its present…and to relegate it to a word-salad of descriptors was to do it, and me, a disservice.
I can only find four instances of Trimbach doling out the incredibly rare “Hors Choix” designation, though there may be more about which I don’t know. Two were for sélection des grains nobles bottlings that were/are so overwhelmingly sweet that finding a sensible occasion to open them is virtually impossible. (Not that they’re in any danger of fading; they may well be essentially deathless.) I own one of those — a gewurztraminer so dark brown with botrytis that I think even the richest possible pâté de foie gras might fade into nothingness — and while it’s unquestionably an extraordinary experience, it’s more or less the Sagrada Familia of wine: impressive to admire, to be sure, but what does one do with it?
Trimbach 2001 Gewurztraminer “Vendanges Tardives” (Alsace) — From 375 ml. Weak-kneed, lacking the intensity, richness, spice, or sucrosity one truly expects from this wine. The fruit hasn’t developed at all, it has just faded. It’s sweet, no question, but it’s one-note; from Alsatian VT gewurztraminer, I expect a body slam. This is a gentle tickle. No one’s heart is in it. (5/16)