June 2008

Wine Talk: Bring on the Trimbach!

Author: Krissy Cantelupe

In 1626, the Trimbach family established the wine trade in Alsace, France, and, to this day, the 11th and 12th generation of the Trimbach family continue to make outstanding white wines in the region—up to 80,000 cases annually, with over one-third of their production exported to the United States. When Jean Trimbach, one of the owners, was on Hilton Head Island last month, I was lucky enough to have dinner with him. Since June is the start of the hot summer, these wines are perfect for the heat.

The wines were outstanding. We began with the Trimbach Pinot Blanc which was dry, crisp, yet medium-bodied, delicious for those hot summer days. Everyone agreed—perfect porch wine for the hot summer months.

The second wine was the Trimbach Riesling, their number one export, especially to America. Alsatian Rieslings tend to be drier than most, and this was no exception. Refreshing flavors of white peach and lemon could accompany grilled fish and poultry, sushi or even steamed shellfish. Once again, another great porch wine to be sipped and shared.

We then moved on to a reserve Riesling called the Trimbach Riesling Cuvee Frederic-Emile, named for the Trimbach who, in 1898, received the Certification of Highest Quality at the Brussels International Show—a very prestigious award at the time. The “gold label” reserves such as this are only made in years when the quality of grapes is at its highest. The vintage we drank was 1999; the color was bright gold, and the flavors were superb—pure, complex fruit that just lasted forever.

We finished with the Trimbach Pinot Gris and the Trimbach Gewurtztraminer. The Pinot Gris Reserve had bright peach and pear on the nose with smoky, tropical fruit flavors (think mango and papaya on the finish). The Gewurtztraminer was downright delicious—zesty, smoky and full of almond and spice. It makes a great match for hot, spicy oriental dishes or curries.

Jean was a fantastic host, ready with the answers to all of our questions. He is the current “marketer” of Trimbach, which means he is the traveling salesperson, on the road to promote the wines. His brother, Pierre is the winemaker and continues the traditional methods of Alsace.

We finished our evening with a rousing chorus of “My Bottle Lies over the Sea” sung to the tune of “My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean.” Substitute “Trimbach” for “Bring back” my bottle to me…

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