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Riesling
Clos Sainte Hune

"If there is one Riesling in the world that every wine lover dreams of tasting and savoring, it is the Clos Sainte Hune...", Serge Dubs, Best Sommelier of the World 1989.

 

For many lovers of great whites, it is true that Clos Sainte Hune is a dream and is one of the greatest, rare and majestic white wines in the world.

 

Pierre Trimbach, our distinguished winemaker since 1979, positions this Riesling as our great white wine with an incredible minerality, perfect balance and endless length, simply because it comes from an exceptional parcel.

A unique and magical terroir in the Grand Cru Rosacker in Hunawihr, this vineyard, which has belonged to the Trimbach family for over 200 years, covers 1.67 hectares. 

 

The first label found on the estate, identical to the one we have today, dates from 1919. A date that inspires peace... just like the place that inspires some to spirituality. In the heart of the Clos Sainte Hune, close to the very old vines of the plot, there is a very particular atmosphere, singular, which calms the morals.

 

The ancient legend tells that in the time of the Kings, during a year of dearth, Huna, the wife of Hunon, King of Hunawihr, succeeded in changing the water of the village fountain into wine. 

This legend of Sainte Huna gave the name to our exceptional parcel, because of its unique terroir.

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The parcel of only 1.67 hectare is located at mid-slope of the Grand Cru Rosacker (26.1 hectares in total).

 

It lies as if in a circus, well protected from the winds. The late and dry character of the terroir allows a slow and healthy maturation of the grapes, planted more than 80 years ago for the oldest vines, 100% Riesling of course. Botrytis is rare (only two vintages have been produced with the "mention" Late Harvest : 1983 and 1989).

 

The deep, chalky soil provides good water and mineral resources. The acidity of the wine is always ripe and powerful.

The wines produced are pure, mineral, complex, dry, powerful, concentrated, with a rare elegance and endless length.

The exposure of the plot is south and south-east, as our plot is slightly sloping. The slope is rather gentle.

 

We literally walk on the limestone mother rock at the entrance of the plot : Muschelkalk and Lettenkohle mother rock. The soil is marly-limestone, calci-magnetic, with calcareous and dolomitic pebbles, very deep and heavy in texture. 

 

The meso climate of Clos Sainte Hune is cool and dry. The Vosges mountains being relatively close, the Clos Sainte Hune benefits from the shadow effect, which allows to regulate the temperature of the plant material. This results in a later harvest than some other Grands Crus. The wind coming from the Vosges touches the Clos, which is located in a kind of basin between Hunawihr and Ribeauvillé.

As the Grand Cru has never been claimed, the wine is classified as AOP. 

The pruning is done in double guyot, Poussard style.

The yield is maximum 55 hl/ha as for all the 51 Grand Cru of Alsace, but often less, depending on the vintage. The density of plantation is average 5500 vines per hectare. The vines are at least 60 years old on average. The oldest were planted well over 80 years ago. Even Bernard Trimbach (born in 1932) does not know when they were planted... The resulting production is usually around 7000 bottles. Sometimes less, sometimes more, depending once again on the vintage.

The parcel is worked in organic viticulture since 2008, after years in reasoned fight. Not a single pesticide or insecticide has been used at Trimbach. The sheep have been grazing there since 2008 after harvests, during Winters. 

 

Year after year, Clos Ste Hune is a high class wine, racy, refined, elegant, with ripe fruits and a pronounced minerality that give it its unique temperament. Of course, it is vinified dry.

 

When tasters talk about Clos Ste Hune, the words that always come up are its harmony, energy, minerality, incredible length and ageing capacity...

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Our new generation Trimbach, the 13th, (Anne, Julien, Frédérique and Pauline), remains in the same perpetual search for balance as the previous generation. 

 

We can say that we are however more sensitive to the work of the soil in harmony with the ground and the vine, the use of reparative wild plants, some biodynamic preparations and the cosmic rhythms. It is the balance of a whole that makes the good of each part.

 

Clos Ste Hune is seen as the pearl of our domain. The parcel, the mythical or mystical place, makes one dream. Who said that plants don't have a soul ? 

Depending on the vintage and the volume of juice after pressing, Clos Sainte Hune is vinified in old casks or sometimes even in stainless steel tanks. Fermentation at around 18-20 degrees Celsius lasts for a few weeks on average. The wine is aged on fine, thin lees before a gentle filtration. The wine is bottled in the Spring following the harvest and the bottles are carefully kept for a few years in our cellar before being sold.

We advise lovers of this great wine to wait at least 10 years, or more. It is today that the great vintages produced by Bernard Trimbach (photo opposite) are at their peak (1971, 1976, 1979, etc.).

It was Sylvain Tesson who said in his superb book La Panthère des Neiges: "I had learned that patience was a supreme virtue, the most elegant and the most forgotten..."

Clos Ste Hune is a wine that needs time and patience... 

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