Vendanges Tardives - Late Harvest
Reserved for the four noble grape varieties; Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling or Muscat grapes, picked when over-ripe a few weeks after the official start of harvest. The grapes, generally affected by noble rot, are selected from only the best vineyards and only in exceptional years.
The “Vendanges Tardives” wines retain natural residual sugar which is in perfect balance with their delightful freshness. These wines are wonderfully intense and have an exceptional finish. They are particularly well suited for foie gras, very rich, creamy dishes, blue cheeses, washed-rind cheeses and velvety desserts.
- FRA - Alsace
The Trimbach 2005 Gewurztraminer Vendange Tardive represents a tiny lot from several parcels with shriveled berries but only a moderate amount of botrytis. Mint and rose petal lead to a creamy palate full of pear, rose, praline, mint, and spices, all wafting delicately and deftly into a long, ennobled yet still juicy finish. This is a tucked-in, perfectly proportional Gewurztraminer that will doubtless have much more to say for itself by the (as yet unspecified) time it is released. Rating 91 - Daivd Schildknecht, Wine Advocate (FEB/2008)
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. Rating 91 - Daivd Schildknecht, Wine Advocate (FEB/2008)
Winery Tasting Notes
After the harvests, the wish of each winemaker in Alsace is to get superb fruit quality, with botrytis or just the extra riped fruits concentrated in sugar.
Depending on the vintage, Pierre Trimbach produces Gewurztraminer Late Harvest with noble rot or thanks to passerillage, like in 1997 or 2003 (it means the berries grill thanks to the sun and concentrate in sugar).
This botrytis gives to the wine a somptuous complex side and some fatness, whereas the concentrated fruits give a sort of power to the wine, but very elegantly.
We highly appreciate a Gewurztraminer with several dishes, from traditional duck foie gras to oriental cuisine, especially from Moroco, or with asiatic cuisine, like the spicy chinese cuisine and of course most of the desserts. Gewurztraminer V.T. can also be the dessert for it self !
Ageing potential : 10 – 15 years +