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Amber, gris

Trimbach 2004 Ribeauvillé Pinot Gris “Réserve” (Alsace) – The non-prestige bottlings from Trimbach in 2004 have been uniformly excellent, for whatever reason, and this is no exception. When this wine is on, there’s a beautiful poise between the rounded pear fruit, dark iron-quartz minerality, spice, and acidity that’s still not “crisp,” exactly, but is more than sufficient to carry the rest of the package. Really nice, and showing absolutely no change from a year ago. Holding it might prove rewarding, but I guess we’ll see. (9/10)

Trimbach 2005 Ribeauvillé Pinot Gris “Réserve” (Alsace) – Big. All the expected elements are there, but the wine just can’t quite support its own weight. Finishes a little hot. There’s so much stuff here that I’d be tempted to recommend the calming effects of age, but I just don’t know about the sheer leadenness of the wine. (9/10)

I, a gris

Trimbach 2004 Pinot Gris “Réserve” Ribeauvillé (Alsace) – Drinking really well, but the period of its drinking needs to come to an end soonish, because the metal-jacketed spiced pear – as consistent an organoleptic characteristic as one will ever find – is being decided in favor of the metal-jacketing, which is a sign that the wine’s about to enter its declining years. No stupendous hurry, but still: drink up. (6/10)

National guard

Trimbach 2004 Ribeauvillé Pinot Gris “Réserve” (Alsace) – This was always a concentrated, vibrant vintage for this wine, but the first signs of unraveling are apparent in this bottle, as the metal-jacketed spiced pear begins to separate into its three components, without the cohesiveness that has been a signature of the wine since release. Drink up, I think. (5/10)

Ribeau & Zooty

Trimbach 2004 Pinot Gris Ribeauvillé “Réserve” (Alsace) – Metal-jacketed pear, light on the spice of richer years, and probably better for it. There’s plenty of acidity – always crucial with Alsatian pinot gris – and a long, bright finish. Heralding a long, bright future? In the context of this wine, I think so, given a sufficiently short definition of “long.” Certainly five more years won’t hurt it, and in fact might bring out a little more of that spice. (2/10)

Grey villé

Trimbach 2002 Pinot Gris “Réserve” Ribeauvillé (Alsace) – Rich spiced pear, almost verging on oily, but with enough backpalate crispness to retain balance. There’s also the typical blackened quartz underbelly…a strange descriptor, I know…which sets this far apart from other pinot gris at its price point. This is a highly reliable wine (except in freak years like 2003), but 2002 verges on exceptional. (8/07)