Founded in the year 1626 by Jean Trimbach, the Trimbach estate has enjoyed nearly 4 centuries of history and 12 generations of winemaking know-how. The estate has earned a shining reputation for its signature style of dry white wines, among which Riesling perhaps best represents the unique chracteristics of the Alsace terroir.
Twelve Generations Have Carried a Rich Legacy
Few winemaking estates encapsulate the essence of family legacy quite like Maison Trimbach in Alsace. The house was founded in 1626 by Jean Trimbach, who moved to Riquewihr from Sainte Marie aux Mines, nearby. Twelve generations of winemakers would carry out almost 4 centuries of winemaking at this historical estate, starting with his son Jean-Jacques (born in 1633) who also became the mayor of Riquewihr. The founder’s grandson Jean (born in 1677) followed in his father’s footsteps, inheriting both the winery and the mayordom of his hometown. In the following generation, Jean-Jacques (born in 1750), became a cooper and specialised in wine barrels, bringing valuable know-how to the family business. The winery was passed down to Jean-Louis (1783), followed by Jean-Frederic (1811) and then Frederic Emile (1839). The latter was especially important in the development of the business. He lent the company his initials (F. E.) , which have been kept ever since, and achieved the highest quality certificate at the International Show of Brussels in 1898. After World War I, Maison Trimbach was transferred to the town of Ribeauville. At this time, the winery was run by Federic Theodore, a passionate promoter and pioneer in Alsatian wine, whose expert advice was sought after all throughout the region.
The winery is still owned by two grandsons of Frederic Theodore, Bernard and Hubert. Bernard’s sons, Pierre and Jean joined the firm around 1980 to work on vinification of the wines and promotion of the estate. To this day, the family maintains close control over each operation, from the care of the vines to bottling.
A Pure Expression of the Alsatian Terroir
The vineyards, which give rise to the beautiful cuvees of Maison Trimbach, are situated around Ribeauville. Vines of mainly Riesling, Pinot Grigio and Gewurtztraminer are planted in the soils dominant in limestone, which lend a characteristic minerality to the wins. The vineyard enjoys a microclimate very unique of Alsace. The Vosges Mountains nearby protect the plain from too much precipitation and the cool breeze allows the berries to mature gradually, developing complex flavour and aromas. For nearly four hundred years the family has specialised in dry white wines, which are often described as very strictly structured and boasting excellent ageing potential. The elegant and very balanced wines have earned a special reputation and defined the “Trimbach Style.”
A rich legacy of winemaking tradition paired with the unique terroirs of Alsace has led the estate to achieve a grand reputation for complex and expressive cuvees for almost four hundred years.
The Four Ranges of Maison Trimbach
Wines, especially the estate’s most prestigious labels, are aged in bottle in the estate’s cellar for several years before they are released.
Maison Trimbach offers four impressive ranges of cuvees. Traditional dry Alsace white wines are perhaps best represented by the Classic Range, which includes thoroughly selected wines from Ribeauville and its surroundings. This range includes a Sylvaner, a Pinot Blanc, a Riesling and a Gewurztraminer, each to be aged a minimum of 5 years. The Reserve Range comprises wines produced from old vineyards, which are destined for a longer ageing in bottle. These include a Muscat, a Riesling, a Pinot Gris, a Gewurztraminer, a Pinot Noir and the Pinot Noire Cuvee 7, produced only in the best years. The prestigious Reserve Personelle range includes wines that are produced from the best terroirs of the estate and only made in ideal vintages. The family’s signature wine, the Cuvee Frederic Emile, is included in the Reserve Personelle. This dry and mineral Riesling wine is a pure representation of the House’s Philosophy, boasting a wonderful ageing potential that makes it a collector’s dream come true. The grapes are grown in Geisberg and Osterberg, terroirs characterised by chalky marl soils. Other Reserve Personelle wines from the estate include a Pinot Gris and the Gewurztraminer Cuvee des Seigneurs de Ribeaupierre. These wines should be aged between 10-15 years at minimum.
Finally, the Prestige and Collection range includes three exquisite cuvees. The Clos Sainte Hune Riesling is produced from the Rosacker vineyard, a 1.67 hectare plot that has been in the family for over 200 years. This wine is truly exceptional in its ageing potential; it can be kept for 10 years after bottling before even reaching its peak. The Vendanges Tardives (Late Harvest) collection includes sweet Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris produced in only the best vintages. Very selective picking of grapes shriveled by noble rot is followed by the production of the House’s rarest wines, included in the Noble Rot Range.
Close-Up on One of Our Favorites from Maison Trimbach
Maison Trimbach : Riesling “Grand Cru Schlossberg” 2014
Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg is the brand new cuvee of Maison Trimbach. The 2-hectare vineyard is located in the Schlossberg Grand Cru and was acquired in 2012. The family produced the first vintage in 2014. The southern facing vines of the Riesling varietal are planted in soils of Thannenkirch granite and Kaysersberg granite migmatite, upon horizontal terraces close to the chateau.
At tasting, the Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg 2014 of the Trimbach family presents itself as a dry white wine of great delicacy. This wine reveals plenty of finesse and a smooth polished. The cuvee has a potential to be kept for at least 10 years before opening.