2000 Trimbach Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile Alsace France. 13% alcohol. $27.00 from Beacon Wine, a new supplier when my old favorites ran out. Imported by Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines, NY, NY.
Deep gold color; clear hue; lovely aroma of flowers and citrus fruit, and hints of minerals [I don't know what minerals smell like, but I got that impression so there you are], excellent flavors of summer flowers and citrus fruits, mineral notes, medium mouth feel, very dry, excellent acidity and balance, long finish with several levels ... in a word, delicious.
Drinking beautifully now. I love the legend on the bottle: "Enjoy Trimbach wines, with everything except ceremony." That's certainly been true for us this summer -- and the wine has held well overnight in a cold fridge -- so we've had it with cold soups and salads at lunch, as well as more summery dinner fare -- astonishingly good with two small mouth bass fresh from our lake last night. 5*.
I sent Jancis Robinson a set of tasting notes for a feature she was running on summer wines. She referred me to the following exchange between herself and Jean Trimbach on this wine. If it's the cork that explains her negative reaction, I'm awfully glad we got the case that we did. But we'll probably "Drink up" on general principle -- this is such a great wine for our taste.
Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile 2000 Trimbach, Alsace 15 Drink up
Deepish gold. Old – losing fruit. Losing freshness. Could be a very dry Trimbach? Lack of fresh fruit in the middle. Very slightly chewy on the finish. Later comment: Very disappointing – like other recent Trimbach Rieslings tasted blind for British Airways.
British Airways tasting note:
Coppery note to the colour. Mousey on the nose then flabby on the palate with a metallic finish.
I should try a bottle soon if I were you. If it weren't for that curiously deep colour, I might wonder whether the wine was suffering from an excess of fruit-deadening sulfur which would eventually dissipate, but sulfur's usual bleaching effect certainly isn't in evidence here. Has anyone else tasted this wine recently?
Certainly everyone else at the large gathering which tasted the wine at Australia House (where the first note was written) was very disappointed by it - but probably only three bottles from the same case were opened.
Jean Trimbach responds:
I thank you for your comments regarding our 2000 Riesling "CFE".
Pierre [Trimbach] tells me that with this vintage he tried three different cork producers and that there could be some tasting differences which we experienced here as well, although not to the same degree experienced by you, Jancis.
2000 is now the vintage we offer to our customers and believe me we open lots of bottles all over the world. I am surprised by the bad luck experienced by Jancis but remain confident in the overall quality of this CFE.
It seems that up to 2000 the cork producers didn't pay the same attention to their products or to what they shipped to us...as today...Pierre seems much more confident now.
Having said that we are not happy because we know exactly what we put into the bottle that year, and this CFE should be one of our very best with some of the higher dry extacts ever.
Now, no doubt that 1999 is different, a little leaner and not as creamy as 2000. There is no change of winemaking style here, not at all; the difference in taste, texture and structure is purely the vintage signature.
I feel very sorry for Jancis knowing her love for our Family wines/style, and I just hope that it was just bad luck.