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Bob Ross

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WTN: 2000 Trimbach Riesling CFE Alsace France. [Bad corks? ]

by Bob Ross » Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:30 pm

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.

Jancis Robinson:

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.
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Re: WTN: 2000 Trimbach Riesling CFE Alsace France. [Bad corks? ]

by David M. Bueker » Sat Jul 29, 2006 1:51 pm

This is interesting (and troubling) as I recently had a badly oxidized 2000 Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve Personelle. I wonder if its the corks and not heat damage...

I am now very worried about my Gewurz, CFE and CFE VT!
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Re: WTN: 2000 Trimbach Riesling CFE Alsace France. [Bad corks? ]

by Bob Ross » Sat Jul 29, 2006 2:09 pm

David, there is a great deal more on Jancis's site. I'll be glad to email more of the discussions if you are interested, although in fairness I think Robinson and Trimbach covered the matter.
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Re: WTN: 2000 Trimbach Riesling CFE Alsace France. [Bad corks? ]

by Peter Gatti » Sun Jul 30, 2006 12:07 am

David M. Bueker wrote:This is interesting (and troubling) as I recently had a badly oxidized 2000 Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve Personelle. I wonder if its the corks and not heat damage...

I am now very worried about my Gewurz, CFE and CFE VT!


David, I've sold 3 + cases of the CFE 2000 so far and nary a returned bottle for any reason, so there's hope! It probably is bad corks, but if you try a bottle (oh, the infanticide) and it seems okay, it might allay your worst fears (that your entire batch was bottled with bad corks).

Best of luck.
Be good to yourself...

Peter

Disclosure: I run a small wine and spirits shop in Austin, Texas.
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Re: WTN: 2000 Trimbach Riesling CFE Alsace France. [Bad corks? ]

by Bill Buitenhuys » Sun Jul 30, 2006 8:29 am

I've sold 3 + cases of the CFE 2000 so far and nary a returned bottle for any reason,
It's good to hear from a retailer here, Peter, thanks. As you noted, opening up a 2000 would be infanticide. How many of these 3+ cases worth of bottles do you think have been opened (vs. cellared)? Have many people reported back that they really enjoyed the wine? I've got a few bottles of this and this talk has my attention as well.
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Re: WTN: 2000 Trimbach Riesling CFE Alsace France. [Bad corks? ]

by David M. Bueker » Sun Jul 30, 2006 11:38 am

Bill,

Let's check one of mine on August 19th.

David
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Re: WTN: 2000 Trimbach Riesling CFE Alsace France. [Bad cork

by Otto » Sun Jul 30, 2006 12:55 pm

Thanks for the note! I recently tried it, my note is here!

It was drinking very well, was very open, and was unrecognisable as Trimbach. I was very disappointed, though it was certainly a drinkable wine. It's just that my expectations for this, one of my favourite producers, was so high.

If you will, I'd love to see the rest of the discussion between HRH and Trimbach.
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Re: WTN: 2000 Trimbach Riesling CFE Alsace France. [Bad cork

by Bob Ross » Sun Jul 30, 2006 1:31 pm

Otto, that sounds very much like Jancis's reaction. My three examples have been much different -- young, probably more complexity in the future, but absolutely delicious.

I posted the entire exchange between Jancis and Trimbach in this thread; the other commentary is by other people. I'll put the comments together as a file, and email or pm it to you and to anyone else who would like a copy. I don't really have permission to reprint from the other folks.

Regards, Bob
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Re: WTN: 2000 Trimbach Riesling CFE Alsace France. [Bad cork

by Bob Ross » Sun Jul 30, 2006 1:51 pm

Otto, I've sent the package of the various posts to you by Private Messager. Let me know if there are any articles referred to in the various posts that are not included and I'll dig them out.

Robinson's search engine is a bit weak, although she promises a major overhaul when the third edition of the Oxford Wine comes out in the fall.

Regards, Bob
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Re: WTN: 2000 Trimbach Riesling CFE Alsace France. [Bad cork

by Otto » Sun Jul 30, 2006 2:17 pm

Bob Ross wrote:Otto, I've sent the package of the various posts to you by Private Messager. Let me know if there are any articles referred to in the various posts that are not included and I'll dig them out.

Robinson's search engine is a bit weak, although she promises a major overhaul when the third edition of the Oxford Wine comes out in the fall.

Regards, Bob


Thanks so much Bob! Looks like I should try one more bottle of this. To be frank it reminded me a bit too much of the acidless 2003s for comfort. Also, I'm glad to hear that HRH is getting a better search engine. That is perhaps the main reason I haven't yet subscribed (though I've been meaning to for ages - I just keep on telling myself that I'll do that after my next pay check, but I always go to tastings instead, lol!! I guess this just might be an activity HRH might approve of...)

-Otto-
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Re: WTN: 2000 Trimbach Riesling CFE Alsace France. [Bad cork

by Bob Ross » Sun Jul 30, 2006 3:22 pm

I think she would, Otto. But if the search engine is improved when the Third goes online, you might consider a one year subscription rather than buying the book. That way, you might be able to buy a used copy if you don't like the website, and save a bit for important things -- like wine and education. :-)
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Re: WTN: 2000 Trimbach Riesling CFE Alsace France. [Bad cork

by Peter Gatti » Sun Jul 30, 2006 4:33 pm

Bill, I've gotten back 4 reports from customers who've tried the wine.

Two were from folks who know and love le vin Alsacien and reports were very favorable; to wit, they loved it and were looking forward to the cellared result in future.

The other two are customers that I have intoduced to Alsace, and they also loved the wine but have less context by which to judge it, so...

All, however, found the wine to be tight, pale-colored, and deliciously acid/mineral upon opening, with good development and improvement over a couple of hours.

So, again, there's hope for good results even in the face of some potential cork problems.

OOps...almost forgot to answer your first question...I think 6 bottles have been opened so far, from at least two different cases, possibly three.
Be good to yourself...

Peter

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Re: WTN: 2000 Trimbach Riesling CFE Alsace France. [Bad cork

by Bill Buitenhuys » Sun Jul 30, 2006 5:34 pm

Peter, thanks for the customer report

David wrote:Let's check one of mine on August 19th.
Sounds good to me!

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