Wednesday, May 12, 2010

2007 Trimbach Riesling, Alsace France

Terry post:

Summer Wine Series.

Customers are always right and when I was Wine Director at Restaurant 219 we selected several Riesling wines for the list to suit the wants, needs and desires of our diners. We had some that were overly sweet and some which were just right.

Visiting the Restaurant again a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of sampling the 2007 Trimbach Riesling. In a word: fantastic.

Where Riesling too often has the reputation of being overly sweet and abundantly fragrant, Trimbach provides a graceful and understated contribution to the genre.

My impression: Light golden in the glass. Apple, peach and citrus on the nose. Crisp. Clean. Not sweet at all, holding with a moderately acidic backbone to make for a food-friendly wine. Enduring long finish with apples and peaches. Highly recommended.

Second thoughts: Rieslings are often done poorly with vintners bowing to the temptation to create an overly sweet and overly floral offering. It is the restraint and the grace of this wine which rewards the drinker and for which I find so appealing. There is a lot of great stuff going on here, and it is not at all loud or clumsy in the process.

This is the wine equivalent of Audrey Hepburn descending the stairs in the movie, "Breakfast at Tiffany's". And, like all things Hepburn, it is not to be missed.

$18-$20 at retail.

~ Terry


  1. Great post Terry. There are many great Alsace producers and some fantastic wines made there. I had a tasting in April of the wines from Rolly-Gassman and we tasted some older Rieslings from 2004 and 1997. I have to say that they were still showing wonderful fruit and acidity but were developing a honeyed layer from some late botrytis. If you would like to see how white wines can really develop in the bottle then Alsace is a great place to start.

  2. Nice review, Brother, and I agree there are few things nicer than a well-crafted dry Riesling from France.

    However, before we totally dismiss the sweeter styled Rieslings made popular in Germany, by suggesting they are of lesser quality, I'd like to stand in defense of our northern grown noble grape.

    Grapes grown in the Alsace enjoy a more conducive environment for ripening. Note they don't grow Cabernet there...because these grapes cannot ripen. But in good years, Riesling can fully ripen and develop wonderful flavors you describe. In areas north of Alsace, in Germany, we are bumping into the northern limit of Vinifera growing, making it sometimes impossible to ripen Riesling.

    Underripe Riesling, sometimes with sugar levels barely reaching 9% sugar (9 degrees Brix) will possess mouth-pucking acidity, happen somewhat frequently. Thus, the quality standards in German (modeled by France but incorporating a sugar as quality indicator) equate to sugar levels in the grapes at harvest.

    Low alcohol wine (from grapes with little sugar) either need a sugar addition at harvest/crush to increase potential alcohol, or sweeten the low alcohol wine to balance out the perception of tartness. Yes, floral - good, Yes, sweet - good. As they need to be.

    Like I said, there's nothing like a good, dry Riesling, but there is also nothing like a well-crafted sweeter styled German/Washington Riesling.


  3. Would not disagree. Have enjoyed several bottles of the various Dr. Loosen brand with great pleasure.

    That said, I tend to see all wine in terms of its ability to pair with food. A sweet Riesling is a wonderful wine to sip and enjoy by itself by is the Devil when trying to pair with anything this side of Chinese take-out.

    A dry, mildly acidic Riesling has the floral components, and fruit AND the knack to be a pleasant dining companion.

    So. I agree with you. Sweet Rieslings are attractive. I'd just add that I prefer the dryer stuff 'cause it's better with food.

    ~ TJ

  4. Have you tried the Trimbach Pinot Blanc (2007)? Restrained, but mouthwatering and fresh with lots of apple fruit going on.

  5. I have not tried the Trimbach Pinot Blanc. If I see it, I'll buy it and give it a try. Thanks for the suggestion.

    ~ TJ

  6. I tried the 2004 version of this wine. Though it has high marks on multiple sites, I found it to be very plain, just sweet, with no complexity at all. German Rieslings seem to be at least more mature in their complexity, at least to some degree.