2005 Trimbach Gewurztraminer
"Trimbach's 'classic' 2005 Gewurztraminer offers a model of restraint and refreshment that I can only wish more growers would emulate. Smelling of smoked meats, celery seed and sea breeze, it is positively bracing even before it hits the palate, where a certain oily richness does not equate to heaviness nor preclude vivacity. Celery root, peach, and smoked meats dominate the finish of this truly ripe, dry-tasting, yet only 13.5% stylistic statement. The Trimbach family continues to render some of the world's finest Riesling; to uphold the principle that wine of Alsace (unless V.T.) should not taste sweet; to release wines only when they believe those wines say 'it's time'; and to ship 40,000 cases (or 40% of their production) to the United States. Notable developments on the occasion of my recent visit were the enhanced quality of their reserve level wines as well as outstanding performances with Pinot Gris. The wines on which I report below include some of those currently in the marketplace or about to appear, but most of the 2004s and 2005s will not be released for 1-3 more years. By the time early October rains struck in 2005, the team here had harvested everything other than their top Riesling. Yet, even though some of their most striking successes were picked unusually early, the upper-tier Rieslings here seem to have suffered neither dilution nor obscurant botrytis. The Trimbachs clearly rolled with any punches nature administered in 2004 (although by the time they harvested, abundant initial bunches had morphed into low yields), delivering Riesling of startling clarity and concentration that showcases its minerality and acidity. But in view of so much negative rot, they declined to attempt any nobly sweet selections."