STRAIGHT OFF THE VINE.
ALSACE wine columns are like buses, you wait for one and then two come along at once. Well almost.
After the column focusing on the region a couple of weeks ago, I had an invite to lunch with Jean Trimbach, from the iconic Trimbach wines of Alsace, at the Park House Restaurant in Cardiff. Proprietor Adam Pledger has managed to secure a visit from many a great wine-maker in the past few years and continued his great run with Jean, a hugely personable man who regaled us with vinous tales and insight.
The Trimbach family dates back to 1626 and 14 generations have worked on this marvellous estate in Ribeauville.
Over a delicious lunch featuring such luxurious treats as Scottish langoustine, scallops like doorstops and gorgeous Vale of Glamorgan lamb, Jean and Adam chose some stunners from the Trimbach cellar.
To start with we sampled the TRIMBACH RIESLING RESERVE 2013 (PS13.95), which had the delicate bouquet of white flowers, mainly honeysuckle, and some mineral bite. On the palate the wine showed a lively tension from the broad citrus notes and that structured minerality.
A very interesting riesling to go back to, as it developed and opened up in the glass to reveal many more layers, including a crisp pink grapefruit hit across the mid-palate.
Next up was the treat of all riesling treats, with a pair of Trimbach 2009 wines going head to head.
Looking at the TRIMBACH RIESLING CUVEE FREDERIC EMILE 2009 (PS35) first, this wine is named after Frederic Emile who became famous at the estate for providing a new guarantee of quality and authenticity in 1898.
The bouquet is extraordinary, with a light layering of floral notes sitting alongside robust stone fruits, mainly white peaches. On the palate the bountiful fruit dominates, but is tempered by the citrus acidity and elegant stony tones. A rather startling fact about how well-regarded this wine is, and its place on the culinary map, is that it's on the wine list of all 26 three Michelin star restaurants in France.
The Cuvee Frederic Emile may be rare at only 4,000 cases released, but our next wine numbers only 700 cases!
The ultra-scarce TRIMBACH RIESLING CLOS SAINTE HUNE 2009 (PS165) defines what Trimbach represents - an elegant, restrained wine, with the DNA of the Alsace region transmitted through the honeyed notes on the nose and the crisp lime zest hit in the mouth. This is a wine that has many decades left in the tank and will gain enormous complexity over time.
Our lamb was accompanied by the TRIMBACH PINOT NOIR RESERVE 2014 (PS16.50). From its luminous hue in the glass to the soft violet notes on the nose, this is the epitome of Alsace pinot noir. The full red cherry fruit on the palate is so approachable, with harmonious acidity adding to such an attractive package.
With pudding we were served the delightful TRIMBACH PINOT GRIS VENDANGE TARDIVE 2008 (PS35), a late-harvest off-dry wine that also benefits from botrytis (noble rot) which adds still more richness to the abundant exotic apricot and mango-framed palate.
| Congratulations to Adam and Claire Pledger at the Park House Restaurant for their top award and commendation at the Conde Nast Johansens Champagne Taittinger UK Wine List Awards 2016.
For more details of the wines featured contact the Park House on 029 2022 4343 or log on to parkhouserestaurant.co.uk @NeilCammies email: firstname.lastname@example.org Columns online log on to walesonline.co.uk and search 'Neil Cammies'
Next up was the treat of all riesling treats, with a pair of Trimbach 2009 wines going head to -head