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Alsace

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Cave De Hunawihr Riesling Grand Cru Rosacker 2018 (1x75cl)

Reviewed by Jancis Robinson for the Financial Times in their 6th December 2019 article, Stunning White Wines for the Festive Season (see blue link below).

Cave De Hunawihr Riesling Grand Cru Rosacker 2018 - December 2019 FT review

This small co-operative, founded in 1954, has 110 members and 200 hectares of vineyard in the Haut-Rhin, nine kilometres from Colmar. Their wines are vinified using only their members' grapes, with a focus on expressing the rich diversity of Alsatian soils. Winemaker Nicolas Garde started at the winery in 2004 and his influence continues to be seen in the way the wines improve with each vintage.

Sheltered by the Vosges Mountains, the Alsace wine region has a semicontinental climate which stays sunny and dry throughout the growing season, which extends the ripening period for the grapes. The slopes surrounding Hunawihr, a picturesque village of half-timbered houses and a 14th century church, are some of the most celebrated in Alsace for grape-growing. Cave de Hunawihr’s fruit is sourced from 25 year-old vines grown in vineyards, located at 250-320 metres altitude, which run along the south and south-east facing hillside slopes around the village. The vineyards cover an area of 36 hectares, located on a geological fault line across Ribeauvillé, which gives soils composed of clay limestone and marl with overlying chalk gravel.

The 2018 vintage was very good. Budburst was later than normal however a very hot summer allowed harvest to begin towards the end of August. Yields were higher than average and the grapes were of a high quality.

Each parcel was individually selected to ensure the best quality for this Réserve wine. Fermentation took place at temperatures of 16-18°C for three weeks with local yeasts. The wine was then aged on its fine lees in stainless-steel tanks for three months before careful filtration. Malolactic fermentation was not allowed to take place.

100% Riesling.

Residual sugar = 8.7g/litre.

This wine is an elegant straw yellow in colour with youthful tints. The nose is complex with aromas of citrus, pear, white flowers and a touch of minerality. The palate is lively and is bursting with citrus flavours. The finish is long and refreshing.

ABV = 14.0%.

£18.25

Dopff Au Moulin Alsace Gewurztraminer 2018 (1x75cl)

The Dopff family have been winegrowers since 1574 and still manage the 70 hectare estate near the charming medieval town of Riquewihr.The vineyards are more than 300 metres above sea level, nestled in the foothills of the lower Vosges, sheltered from the northerly winds and the rain from the west. The southerly exposure of the vineyards and favourable microclimate lend themselves to the art of producing excellent wine. As a family of pioneers, they were responsilble for the use of the stemmed wine bottles, which today distinguish Alsace wines from other regions. In 1900, tenth generation, Julien Dopff, was so impressed by the Champagne tastings held in Paris' World Exhibition, he decided to learn the art of winemaking in Champagne for 2 years before returning to Alsace. Initially, the Dopff family bought juice in barrels from Champagne, blended, processed and aged the wines in Ricquewihr. However, after WW II Julien Dopff strongly believed that a Crémant made from local grape varieties and reflecting the terroir of Alsace should be produced and protected. In 1976, together with 5 other producers, he finally obtained official recognition for Crémant d'Alsace as an AOC.

The vines are pruned according to the Guyot system, with a green harvest and meticulous canopy management to ensure good light penetration and air flow. The vineyards are made up of sandy clay soils with good drainage.

Harvest started on 6th September 2018, with Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris; the Riesling grapes were harvested from 20th September. The yields were higher than the previous year and the fruit picked was in an excellent, healthy condition, due to the warm, dry ripening period throughout the summer. The fruit offers concentrated flavours, with excellent maturity.

The grapes were harvested at optimum maturity and carefully selected. The grapes were whole bunch pressed, prior to a static settling process. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures, maintaining the purity of fruit and the varietal characteristics of Gewürztraminer.

100% Gewürztraminer.

Expressive, classic aromas of rose petal, lychee, jasmine and tropical fruits with a touch of pepper carry through to an opulent and beautifully balanced palate with an elegant, off-dry finish.

ABV = 13.5%

£16.25

Trimbach Grand Cru Geisberg Riesling 2014 (1x75cl)

** BOUGHT IN TO ORDER; ORDERS NOW PLACED WILL BE WITH US ON WEDS 24th JUNE. AVAILABLE IN CASES OF THREE BOTTLES. WE ARE ALSO HAPPY TO SELL INDIVIDUAL BOTTLES. **

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"Aromas of limestone and hints of earth. Wet morning forest floor. This is from the vineyards of the convent of Ribeauville. This has been made separately since 2009. All organically farmed. Only 8.5 hectares total with Trimbach as four. The Montrachet of Alsace? 98 points". James Suckling

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"The 2014 Grand Cru Geisberg Riesling opens with a clear, ripe and intense, well-concentrated and complex bouquet with crushed stone, lemon peel and herbal aromas. Full-bodied, juicy, intense and piquant, with good concentration and complexity, this is a full-bodied, dense and persistent Riesling with firm, yet still somewhat austere tannins and good acidity. I suppose this will be a great Geisberg in 10 or more years, but not much earlier. A very promising Riesling! 93+ points". Wine Advocate.

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Earning a listing for one of your wines at a Michelin-starred restaurant is a proud moment – so what must it be like to be featured by every single three Michelin-starred restaurant in France (that’s 27 in total)? It’s an accolade that reflects the historic excellence and purist vision of F. E. Trimbach, unquestionably one of the great names of Alsace and a family business that can trace its origins all the way back to 1626. Thirteen generations later, brothers Bernard and Hubert, plus Bernard’s sons, Pierre and Jean, and granddaughter Anne – remain true to the philosophy handed down to them by their 19th century ancestor, Frédéric Emile (the man who put the “F.E.” into F. E. Trimbach).

The Trimbachs have a purist vision. For three centuries and across 13 generations, the family has produced wines that are structured, long-lived, fruity, elegant and balanced: the celebrated Trimbach style. The family personally looks after each operation, from planting to harvests and from vinification to bottling.

The viticultural origin of the Trimbach family dates back to 1626, when Jean Trimbach, was recognized as a citizen of Riquewihr. From then on, the Trimbach’s were renowned for their wine-growing. Maison Trimbach’s vineyards are all situated around Ribeauvillé (Ribeauvillé, Hunawihr, Bergheim, Rorschwihr, Riquewihr and Mittlewihr). They benefit from the unique Alsatian microclimate, thanks to the Vosges Mountains protection, which preserves the plain from the rain. The vineyards were planted on the Ribeauvillé’s fault line that fractured 50 million years ago between the Vosges Mountain range and the Black Forest offering a mosaic of terroirs including the complex calcareous limestone and bio-degraded seashell fossils called Muschelkalk.

Trimbach have been leasing the vineyards of the Convent of Ribeauvillé for several years now. In 2009, they produced their first Grand Cru Geisberg. Pierre Trimbach and his team have been working the Grand Cru Geisberg behind the Trimbach domaine for years, this one being assembled with Grand Cru Osterberg into the famous Frederic Emile. Their knowledge of this terroir has enabled them to produce a great wine on their 2.66 ha. The Geisberg GC is a jewel of Alsace. Located in between two other Grands Crus on Ribeauvillé's fault line, the limestone and sandstone subsoil, the old vines, the exposure to the sun and the small steep terrasses make it a very unique and complex terroir of only 8.5 ha in total.

Handpicked as late as possible in order to achieve maximum ripeness, which in turn, gives optimum depth of flavour and complexity. The grapes are pressed very gently in a pneumatic press. The juice ferments in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats for 3 to 4 weeks.

The wine is not oak-aged, and is vinified to complete dryness with no residual sugar. Bottling is done early to preserve freshness, and the wine rests in bottle in the cellar for several years before reaching the marketplace, ensuring the wine is both ready to drink upon release but also can be cellared.

Riesling 100%.

The wine is intense and has a great energy. The color is bright-electric with silvery shimmers. Although the first approach on the nose is discreet with white flowers notes, the diesel-like minerality soon emerge with broad almost-oily shoulders to match it. A direct characteristic of the Geisberg parcel. On the palate, the attack is unctuous and ample with saline notes adding elegance to a very structured wine. A gastronomic wine able to age between 10 to 30 years in the top vintages.

ABV = 13.0%.

£48.15

Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste Hune 2014 (1x75cl)

** BOUGHT IN TO ORDER; ORDERS PLACED BY 9am ON A MONDAY WILL BE WITH US ON THE WEDNESDAY TWO DAYS LATER FOR DESPATCH. **

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Awarded a very high 18.5 points (of 20) on Jancis Robinson's Purple Pages (www.JancisRobinson.comreviewer Jancis herself - in April 2018 (see blue link below).

Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste Hune 2014 - jancisrobinson.com May 2020 review

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"The 2014 Riesling Clos Ste Hune is clear and intense on the concentrated nose, offering ripe white-fruit aromas. On the palate, this is a bone-dry, vital and finessed Riesling with a long and tension-filled, salty finish. The 2014 is a kind of quintessence of the Ribeauvillé/Hunawihr terroir: pure, lean, stony and salty, with no flesh, but lots of bones and minerals at this very early moment. Picked at 35 hl/ha this is a straight Sainte Hune that will last for for 30+ years. 96 points". Wine Advocate, June 2017.

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"A stunning wine with ethereal aromas of sliced apple, sliced pear and mineral character. Flowers and honeysuckle too. Full-bodied, very tight and dense. It goes so deep and beautiful. Bright and tangy acidity. Has the depth of a great vintage of grand cru Burgundy but is so Clos Ste. Hune in character. Muscularly feminine and breathtaking. 99 points". James Suckling, January 2019.

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Earning a listing for one of your wines at a Michelin-starred restaurant is a proud moment – so what must it be like to be featured by every single three Michelin-starred restaurant in France (that’s 27 in total)? It’s an accolade that reflects the historic excellence and purist vision of F. E. Trimbach, unquestionably one of the great names of Alsace and a family business that can trace its origins all the way back to 1626. Thirteen generations later, brothers Bernard and Hubert, plus Bernard’s sons, Pierre and Jean, and granddaughter Anne – remain true to the philosophy handed down to them by their 19th century ancestor, Frédéric Emile (the man who put the “F.E.” into F. E. Trimbach).

The Trimbachs have a purist vision. For three centuries and across 13 generations, the family has produced wines that are structured, long-lived, fruity, elegant and balanced: the celebrated Trimbach style. The family personally looks after each operation, from planting to harvests and from vinification to bottling.

The viticultural origin of the Trimbach family dates back to 1626, when Jean Trimbach, was recognized as a citizen of Riquewihr. From then on, the Trimbach’s were renowned for their wine-growing. Maison Trimbach’s vineyards are all situated around Ribeauvillé (Ribeauvillé, Hunawihr, Bergheim, Rorschwihr, Riquewihr and Mittlewihr). They benefit from the unique Alsatian microclimate, thanks to the Vosges Mountains protection, which preserves the plain from the rain. The vineyards were planted on the Ribeauvillé’s fault line that fractured 50 million years ago between the Vosges Mountain range and the Black Forest offering a mosaic of terroirs including the complex calcareous limestone and bio-degraded seashell fossils called Muschelkalk.

In 1919, after centuries of making Rieslings, the Trimbach family created one of the world’s greatest dry white wines: Clos Ste Hune.

Clos Ste Hune, is a 3.75-acre historic vineyard in the Rosacker Grand Cru, belonging to the Trimbach family for over two centuries. The (on-average) 50-year-old vines are planted on cool Calcareous soil including the famed Muschelkalk, with a gentle incline and a high percentage of limestone. The plot, which is approximately 50 to 70 years old, is south-south-east exposed and the yields are very low.

The calcareous soil allows this Riesling to develop a specific aroma and a wonderful concentration of fruits. Dry yet succulent, and of phenomenal complexity, this wine develops an extraordinary aftertaste of minerals after a few years in bottle. 

Annual production reaches only around 9,000 bottles, depending on the vintage, making the wine so unique that Clos Sainte Hune is sough by many collectors all over the world.

In the vineyard: Trimbach pick the grapes as lateIn the winery:  as possible in order to achieve maximum ripeness which, in turn, gives optimum depth of flavour and complexity. The grapes are picked by hand and pressed gently in a pneumatic press. The juice runs into the cellar by gravity and clarifies naturally prior to fermentation. The juice ferment in stainless steel at controlled temperature for 3 or 4 weeks. The wine is vinified to complete dryness.

In the winery: no oak ageing is employed, because Trimbach believe it does not bring anything to their wines; it merely hides the concentrated fruit and flowers. Bottling is conducted early to preserve freshness. Most top-end Trimbach wines are bottle-aged for several years before leaving the winery; in the case of Clos Ste Hune, that's for a minimum of 5 years.

Of great longevity and very rare, Clos Sainte Hune takes at least seven or eight years to reach its peak. Wine ageing: 20 years+.

Riesling 100%.

A rich yet but very pure and cristalline Clos Ste Hune, with floral and citrus notes. Bone dry, mineral backbone and a lingering finish.

ABV = 14.0%.

£185.00

Trimbach Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg 2016 (1x75cl)

"A steely and fruity white with sliced green-apple and lemon aromas and flavors. Medium body. Dry. Crisp acidity. Long and energetic. Minerally at the end. Drink or hold. 94 points". James Suckling, Aug 2019

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The 2015 vintage was awarded 95 points by Decanter (www.decanter.com) (see blue link below).

Trimbach Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg 2015 - Decanter review

_____

Earning a listing for one of your wines at a Michelin-starred restaurant is a proud moment – so what must it be like to be featured by every single three Michelin-starred restaurant in France (that’s 27 in total)? It’s an accolade that reflects the historic excellence and purist vision of F. E. Trimbach, unquestionably one of the great names of Alsace and a family business that can trace its origins all the way back to 1626. Thirteen generations later, brothers Bernard and Hubert, plus Bernard’s sons, Pierre and Jean, and granddaughter Anne – remain true to the philosophy handed down to them by their 19th century ancestor, Frédéric Emile (the man who put the “F.E.” into F. E. Trimbach).

The Trimbachs have a purist vision. For three centuries and across 13 generations, the family has produced wines that are structured, long-lived, fruity, elegant and balanced: the celebrated Trimbach style. The family personally looks after each operation, from planting to harvests and from vinification to bottling.

The viticultural origin of the Trimbach family dates back to 1626, when Jean Trimbach, was recognized as a citizen of Riquewihr. From then on, the Trimbach’s were renowned for their wine-growing. Maison Trimbach’s vineyards are all situated around Ribeauvillé (Ribeauvillé, Hunawihr, Bergheim, Rorschwihr, Riquewihr and Mittlewihr). They benefit from the unique Alsatian microclimate, thanks to the Vosges Mountains protection, which preserves the plain from the rain. The vineyards were planted on the Ribeauvillé’s fault line that fractured 50 million years ago between the Vosges Mountain range and the Black Forest offering a mosaic of terroirs including the complex calcareous limestone and bio-degraded seashell fossils called Muschelkalk.

In 2012, the Trimbach family bought 2 hectares of the well reputed Grand Cru Schlossberg. The first vintage was produced in 2014. Grand Cru Schlossberg has a granitic terroir. The vines are planted in horizontal terraces, south-facing, located next to the castle, just under the forest ... and the vineyard benefits from a cooler microclimate.

Handpicked as late as possible in order to achieve maximum ripeness, which in turn, gives optimum depth of flavour and complexity. The grapes are pressed very gently in a pneumatic press. The juice ferments in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats for 3 to 4 weeks.

The wine is not oak-aged, and is vinified to complete dryness with no residual sugar. Bottling is done early to preserve freshness, and the wine rests in bottle in the cellar for several years before reaching the marketplace, ensuring the wine is both ready to drink upon release but also can be cellared.

Delicate, dry, precise and able to age for at least 10 years (Exel say: considerably more). There is only a very limited, almost confidential production.

Riesling 100%.

See reviews above for tasting notes.

ABV = 12.5%.

£43.50
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