Two Older Frederic Emile Rieslings

Yountville, California
Tasted Saturday, February 20, 2010 by drwine2001 with 262 views


The '85 and '86 Trimbachs were the centerpiece of a fantastic meal and made for a fascinating comparison. Both bottles came directly from the domain's library release in 2004, so the provenance was as good as it gets. That said, as below, the younger vintage was clearly more advanced than a bottle of it that we had about 5 months ago. It is hardly surprising that a white wine of this age would show some variation even with the most perfect storage.

Flight 1 - Prologue (1 Note)

Flight 2 - Mature Rieslings (2 Notes)

  • 1985 Trimbach Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile

    France, Alsace

    Very light for a 25 year old Riesling. Subtle aromatics of lemon, lime, and some herbs with a lightly petrolly note. Lighter weight, almost Germanic impression (especially compared to the bigger '86 at its side) with wonderful, lively acidity and minerality. Completely dry. A wine of great delicacy and finesse, remarkably well preserved.

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  • 1986 Trimbach Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile

    France, Alsace

    Light golden, much darker than the '85. Some nutty, oxidative notes were worrisome, but the wine hung in there and improved for a good 2 hours. Rich, dry yellow peach core with a hint of tropical fruit. Oily feel compared to the more ethereal '85, but admirably, this gained focus and precision with air. The glycerine gives it more of an impression of sweetness than its older counterpart, but I'd bet this too has very low residual sugar. Bitter almond finish. By the end, the secondary Riesling fusel was dominant. This lacked the spiciness, freshness, and overall excitement of the bottle we had last fall, but it was still interesting and enjoyable. The '85 stole the show with its beauty tonight, though.

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Flight 3 - Some Red to Finish (1 Note)

  • 1990 Domaine Leroy Latricières-Chambertin

    France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Latricières-Chambertin Grand Cru

    Still moderate ruby and quite primary looking. All game, earth, and anise on the nose. Medium to lighter weight with beautifully integrated acidity. Lean and backward, blackberry fruit emerged very slowly and a hint of sweetness appeared. This is not about the fruit, though. Not at all in the typical 1990 style, I would have guessed a younger, more classically structured vintage. Youthful and outstanding even if it doesn't quite have the stuffing to be great. I'd love to revisit this in another 20 years.

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