1989 Trimbach "Clos Ste Hune" Riesling Vendanges Tardives

SKU #1347242 94 points Wine Spectator

 Imagine a mountain stream rushing over pebbles between banks of flowers and wild herbs. This intense, concentrated wine is fresh and clean, with wonderful aromas and outstanding flavors, still tightly wound even as it edges into maturity. Delicious now; should develop.  (9/1995)

Jancis Robinson

 Old gold with amber rim. Fine fragrance of ripe stone fruit includes apricots and peaches. Most of the sugars were fermented, but the high alcohol comes exquisitely packaged in a wonderfully generous texture which instantly embraces the whole of one’s palate. The wine is only mildly sweet with 60 g/l of residual sugar, but so rich that it would make a fine match for any blue cheese, preferably the salty Roquefort. Acidity is only an afterthought, but there is enough to prevent any danger of flabbiness. (MS) 19/20 points  (8/2014)

K&L Notes

Vintage after vintage, Clos Ste. Hune is reliably among the handful of the great wines of Alsace. The family has been making wine in the region for over three generations, and Clos Ste. Hune is a monopole vineyard in heart of the Rosacker Grand Cru. So famous, it is always simply known as Clos Ste. Hune. 1989, however, was an exception in that the Trimbach's did not produce a dry version of their most famous wine. Due to rampant botrytis in 1989, they instead chose to bottle two version of Clos Ste. Hune with some residual sugar. However, rigorous selection for the Vendanges Tardives still took place in order to remove any botrytis grapes for the wine. It's understood the grapes were dried on straw mats, and the at the time of release the wine had a delicate 60 g/l of residual sugar. With maturity that twinge of sweetness has integrated beautifully into the wine, and perhaps boosted it's already outstanding aging potential. Clos Ste. Hune is always a spectacularly special wine that seems to be immortal, and the 1989 is just a twinge more rare and unique.

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- While the rest of the world has often misappropriated the name--Welchriesling, Riesling Italico, Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling are all names applied to varieties that are NOT Riesling--this exceptional German varietal has managed to maintain its identity. Perhaps its biggest claims to fame are its intoxicating perfume, often described as having honeyed stone fruit, herb, apple and citrus notes, and its incredible longevity - the wines lasting for decades. Aged Rieslings often take on a distinctive and alluring Petrol-like aroma. Within Germany, the grape seems to do best in the warming slate soils of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. Other German regions that turn out great Rieslings include Pfalz, Rheingau and Nahe. German Rieslings are made in a range of ripeness levels. The top wines are assigned Prädikat levels to describe their ripeness at harvest. These are: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese. Riesling has also achieved acclaim in France's Alsace, the only region in that country where the grape is officially permitted. Alsatian Rieslings are typically dry and wonderfully aromatic. Austrian Riesling is also steadily gaining praise and fine Riesling is also produced in Italy's Alto-Adige and Friuli, in Slovenia and much of Central and Eastern Europe. In the New World its stronghold is Australia, where it does best in the Eden and Clare Valleys. It is also planted in smaller amounts in New Zealand. In the US, winemakers are eschewing the syrupy sweet versions of the 1970s and 1980s, instead making elegant and balanced wines in both California and Washington State.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.


- A region and appellation in France that has been a part of both France and Germany throughout history. Geologically isolated from both countries, Alsace has also maintained much of its own culture and wine tradition, while also being influenced by the traditions of both countries. Alsatian wine is easily recognized by it traditional tall bottles. Alsatian wine makers produce a unique style of varietal wine, 90 percent of which is white.