TN 2011 Trimbach Clos Ste Hune

My first Clos Ste Hune. My expectations were through the roof. I worried that I was opening it too early at 11 yrs old, but I’m glad I didn’t wait any longer. The bottle isn’t premoxed, but it’s more advanced than it should be. Bottle looked good, but removing the capsule revealed a cork that was sunk 2mm below the rim. I tasted a small bit PnP and the rest of it went into the decanter which we drank slowly over 5 hrs. Some weird funky notes upon opening, which went away after some air.

Aroma is mostly pleasant, but it’s not at the intensity that a top quality Riesling should be- I’d say medium minus. Notes are of a wine that is advancing in years: stewed pears, apple sauce, wilted wildflowers, honey, lemon meringue pie, chamomile tea, and jasmine. Not a hint of petrol. The smells are pleasant but, again, intensity is lacking, and too advanced for a wine with a reputation of being able to age forever.

Pleasant in the mouth, but lacking the high acidity it should have. Even a touch flabby. The texture is soft, smooth, very easy drinking. Tastes of poached pears, pineapple rings out of the can, chamomile and jasmine (again). There is a hint of Juicy Fruit gum note that feels out of place. Finish is reasonably long, emphasizes the fruit.

I haven’t had this wine before, but I’ve had Cuvee Frederic Emile on multiple occasions, as well as other high quality Alsatian Rieslings. This wine is pleasant enough to drink, but no way this is what it’s supposed to be. Strangely, it’s missing the je ne sais quoi typicity of Riesling. Here I am, drinking what is supposed to be one of the top expressions of Riesling in the world, and I’m not sure I could have even identified the grape if blinded. Fun to try, but given the price, a bit fat disappointment.

I’ve had the bottle for 3 years, stored perfectly. I suspect damage in transit.

Well there could be a couple of things going on. First, 2011 is a very low acid vintage, so you are not going to get the bright acidity you are looking for. It’s just not there.

As for the bottle condition, maybe it had issues. No way to really know. Premox perhaps? I thought Trimbach was past that problem, but who knows.

Mild TCA sometimes presents to me as a wine stripped of its high notes, without taint aroma.

When you compare to another sound bottle, it’s obvious, without that, it’s subtle.

Easiest to tell on wine you are familiar with. It’s the answer to “why did I think I liked this wine and bought x bottles if it tastes like this”.

No way this was just a low acid vintage. There was definitely something off. As I said in the original post, I don’t think it was premox, bc the wine was totally drinkable. More advanced than usual, but not poxed…

This is interesting, and I think this might be what’s going on. In fact, I thought the cork smelled a tiny bit corky when I first pulled it, but then I couldn’t smell or taste any TCA in the wine itself. Maybe it was just enough cork taint to put a big wet blanket over the entire thing.

Given your description, I think this may be an off-bottle. Medium- aromatics shouldn’t be happening here. While it’s a richer vintage, the acidity should still have some sharpness.

I had this in October and it was pretty gorgeous. I wouldn’t put it in the category of best Ste Hunes I’ve had, but it was still a very strong wine and at my expectation for the class and level.

If not TCA, it also sounds like a bottle that wasn’t stored properly. The stewed and advanced comments are tell-tale signs of a wine that might not have been cooked, just advanced.

I appreciate the thoughts, and agree that this must be an off bottle. Which is a big disappointment- I bought it bc I love CFE, and was hoping for a step up. And it didn’t come cheap! But this is what happens with wine from time to time. Here’s to hoping my next bottle (if I ever get one) will be better.

Really no way to know but I expect the suggested corked diagnosis has a high likelihood.

Happens more than commonly (outside WB) known.

Reads like an off bottle.
That’s like a bummer man

Plenty of premox with Trimbach around this time. Sounds blunted by oxygen to me.

The fancier bottlings from Alsatian producers often seem flabby to my tastes (I often prefer the “lesser” bottlings) and, as David B said, 2011 was a low acid year in that part of the world.

As for the aroma, dry riesling is nothing like sweet riesling on the nose.