Browse Tag

cuvée frédéric émile


Trimbach 2000 Riesling “Cuvée Frédéric Émile Vendanges Tardives” (Alsace) – Impossibly tight and unyielding to any amount of air, swirling, or overnight oxidation. It just sits there, closed-in about itself, wondering why you were crazy enough to open it now. I wouldn’t even think of touching this for another ten years, if this is the stage it’s currently in. (1/10)


Trimbach 1993 Riesling “Cuvée Frédéric Émile” (Alsace) – Metal (mostly iron) with huge acidity and receding complexity. Very slightly oxidized on the finish, and while the wine’s still quite intense, I think it needs to be consumed…though with extended aeration, it does freshen a bit. (9/08)


Trimbach 1989 Riesling “Cuvée Frédéric Émile” “Vendanges Tardives” (Alsace) – Weirdly muted and overly mature. The signs of a great old late-harvest CFE are there – creamed steel and corn starch, salt, lead crystal – but the wine’s just not what it should be. The cork seems fine, and over the course of three days there’s no whiff of TCA from cork or (empty) bottle, but…well, this is a disappointment. Something – most likely the cork, absent any signs or signatures of heat damage – failed here. (5/09)

See, F.E.?

Trimbach 1998 Riesling “Cuvée Frédéric Émile” (Alsace) – The only reason to open this right now is to express your intense affection for pain inflicted by an invisible spirit, because it could not possibly be more closed. Like trying to catch sleet on your tongue, or maybe licking a flow of glacial ice, this wine gives nothing. Instead, it demands: patience, patience, patience. The structure is flawless, and this is going to be a stunner one day (albeit on the raw, sharper-edged side of CFEs), but that day is not today. Nor tomorrow. Maybe starting in about 2015, and continuing on for a decade or two after that? Yeah, that sounds about right. (4/09)

Freddy’s late

Trimbach 2000 Riesling “Cuvée Frédéric Émile” “Vendanges Tardives” (Alsace) – Only 4000 bottles were produced. This wine carries 25 grams/liter residual sugar, but like many of Trimbach’s VT rieslings, it shows less as obvious sweetness and more as a rich fullness. It’s very tight, and even slightly muddy at first opening. The minerality is ultra-concentrated, with the creamy texture one normally finds in mature riesling. There’s a hesitant expansion throughout the midpalate, but the wine really blows open on the finish, which is generous and passionate. Very, very good, but it will take time to reach its potential. (5/06)

Trimbach 2001 Riesling “Cuvée Frédéric Émile” “Vendanges Tardives” (Alsace) – Picked in three passes. Piercing minerality viewed through gauze, with rich peach and apple rendered in crystal, raw iron, and steel plates. The complexity comes in layers, each more exciting than the last. This wine is incredible. Absolutely incredible. I could drink this forever, and in fact the wine will probably last that long, getting better all the while. I express my enthusiasm to Pierre, who nods. “It’s probably my best vendange tardive.” I can only agree. (5/06)

Freddy couple

Trimbach 2003 Riesling “Cuvée Frédéric Émile” (Alsace) – When Pierre opens with “this has five grams per liter of residual sugar,” I’m even less enthused than I would normally be about a 2003. This is the (other) flagship riesling from a domaine that stresses how Alsatian riesling must be “dry, dry, dry”? In any case, the wine’s not bad at all. It shows huge grapefruit and lemon-lime acidity, with multicolored apples, celery, and iron flakes…nothing out of the ordinary for riesling…amidst a forceful attack that softens and dries on the finish. This is surprisingly nice, and seems to be much better than the goofily-appealing but earlier-drinking 1997. To be sure, it will never be one of the great CFEs, but it does have a strong “while-you-wait” appeal. (5/06)

Trimbach 2001 Riesling “Cuvée Frédéric Émile” (Alsace) – Exotic, mineral-driven nose. Pure and piercing on the midpalate. Lemon rind and apple skin are about all there are to draw from the crystalline liquid, which is firm, long, and intense, albeit overwhelmingly primary. I think this is a stunner in the making, but it’s not yet knit, so it’s difficult to tell. (Post-facto addendum: based on subsequent tastings, it is indeed a proto-legendary monster, and possibly one of the very best CFEs of recent memory.) (5/06)

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