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).
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.
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 = 13.5%.
** LIMITED STOCK FOR IMMEDIATE DESPATCH, BUT MORE STOCK AVAILABLE. DO, BY ALL MEANS ORDER MORE THAN SHOWN BELOW; ORDERS (FOR QUANTITIES BEYOND IMMEDIATE STOCK SHOWN) PLACED BY 9 AM ON A MONDAY WILL BE WITH US FOR LUNCHTIME DESPATCH ON THE WEDNESDAY. **
The 2010 vintage was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2018 article on Sweetness in Wine (see blue link below).
This wine was named after Frédéric Emile who became famous for providing a new guarantee of quality and authenticity for Trimbach in 1898. The prestigious signature wine of the house, the “Cuvée Frédéric Emile” is highly prized by connoisseurs and collectors.
The south and south-east facing Ribeauvillé terroirs and Grand Crus of Geisberg and Osterberg which overlook the Trimbach winery have been the source of this wine for several generations. Trimbach took the bold decision of not mentioning the Grand Cru on the label back in the 70’s. Today, Cuvée Frédéric Emile is considered a benchmark of Grand Crus Riesling even though the label does not state the names of the vineyards.
The average age of the vines, 45 years, results in limited yields. The marl-limestone-sandstone and fossil-flecked Muschelkalk composition of the terroir, as well as the beautifully ripe grapes selected and harvested at the end of October lend this wine a remarkable personality: a dry and powerful Riesling, underlined by a mineral note and firm ripe acidity.
This wine pairs well with gourmet foods, particularly quality fish, caviar, and fine white meats. “Cuvée Frédéric Emile” vintages age for at least twenty years.