TN- 2001 Trimbach Cuvee Frederic Emile

The non-375th Anniversary bottling. Bottle looks to be in great shape, very good fill, served PnP then followed over 4 hrs out of Zalto Universals. Cork soaked half through, otherwise in fine shape.

Color is bright gold- looks beautiful. Nose immediately reveals that this is into the middle/late-developed stage of life. Aromas are of yellow peach, yellow flowers, cider, spearmint (!), some petrol, but with a soft indistinctness, a bit of fuzziness, that comes with a wine that’s past its best. Acidity is medium in the mouth, quite dry, bruised yellow apples and some oxidation. Finish is on the short side, kind of one dimensional.

I must say, I’m a little disappointed by how developed this bottle is- too much for my tastes. I had a 1989 CFE in 2019 that was mindblowingly delicious, so I know how good these can be. This one was ok, but far from great. Reading notes seems to show that these older Frederic Emiles can be hit or miss, and this one shows that. It’s a shame because outwardly this bottle looked perfect.

bottle by bottle.

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Yep, bottle by bottle at this age. Noah, did you own this from release, or pick it up more recently?

Cork soaked half through makes me wonder a little, though Alsace flute bottles do seem to make it easier for that to happen.

But yeah, 20 years+ is always bottle to bottle. Provenance is key.

I’ve only been a wine guy for 4 years or so (and I was a freshman in college in 2001). So I picked it up about a year ago.

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I have had premox problems with Trimbach CFE. For me the premox problem is not a provenance issue as the stock I buy is all ex cellar direct from Trimbach.


‘96-‘00 is the heart of their premox issues, though some have reported problems with 2001 (I have had very fine experiences with ‘01 allowing for some minimal bottle variation). That said we are now 20+ years out, and ox is a reality.

For the OP, comparing to the 1989 is not useful, as ‘89 was a very different year with some rather unique circumstances that have produced singular wines.

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Yes. And all corks are not created equal. Density varies quite a bit in cork and as the wines age, there is a lot of disparity between bottles(I don’t mean TCA). I see this in our older wines quite a lot. I pulled a cork on a 2011 Pinot Gris about 3 months ago, that simply looking at the cork as it came out I knew it would be a good representation of the wine. It was the best version of the wine since release.

You weren’t drinking fine wine as a college freshman? Sad.

Sadly I have had premoxed bottles of both 2007 and 2008 CFE, based on my experience, am not yet convinced this issue is behind them

Interesting. Yours is the first report I have ever seen regarding premox in '07 or '08. Have had numerous good bottles of both, and seen multiple reports of same.

I’ve also had a premoxed 2007.

That’s too bad. I’ve had some mixed experiences with 2001, perhaps due to bottle variation. For a while, there was an unusually advanced petrol character. Did I open too early? Maybe. But actually, being rather experienced with this bottle at this point, I began to suspect my problems were rather because I didn’t air out past bottles well enough. So I just opened a bottle last weekend, poured off a little about 5 or 6 hours early, and let it sit.

It worked fantastically–it was utterly outstanding. Everything I was looking for over the years with this bottle, and more. Fresh fruit rubbed on slate, plenty of minerality, lots of length, and also a profoundly gorgeous and deep musky perfume. Just awesome. I’m sorry to gloat, haha, but I’ve had your experience a few times too.

Edited to add: there was pretty bad seepage and even mold on top of the cork… in this case it didn’t matter.

more common problems w the half bottles of FE, 2001 in particular.

Half bottles of Alsatian wine routinely suck in my experience.

Numerous reports posted here of 2001 halves that sucked.
Until now, don’t recall reading about halves that sucked from other vintages.

Halves from Weinbach that I bought at the winery and carefully brought home were oxidized within four years from the vintage. There’s more if I look further.

I had a bunch of ZH half bottles (windsbuhl etc) mostly from 2005 that were basically totally oxidized on purchase. Maybe something to do with the wine marking back then tho.