I had a late lunch yesterday at home with my tasting coordinator, Rosanne Quagliata, and I decided a glass of white would go well with the vegetable soup I made the day before. I made the soup with chicken stock and fresh vegetables such as cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, green beans and potatoes. I love eating fresh soup during cold winter days in Tuscany.
I have a cellar just below the kitchen. So I popped down to pull some whites. I decided to go for bottles that I had forgotten about—aged ones that were questionable in quality. Unfortunately, I had to go through a number of them to find a good one. Most were from ultraripe years and had already lost their freshness and zest. They were slightly oxidized and flabby. They included: Feudi di San Gregorio Greco di Tufo 2003, Mastroberardino Fiano di Avellino Radici 2003, Moccagatta Langhe Chardonnay Buschet 2004 and Planeta Chardonnay Sicilia 2000. On top of that the Vie di Romans Sauvignon Isonzo del Friuli Piere 2001 and Jacqueson Rully 1er Cru Grésigny 1995 had bad corks!
I was getting desperate! My soup was getting cold as I went down each time to find a good bottle. Finally, I pulled my last bottle of Trimbach’s 1990 Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Émile from Alsace. This French wine appeared in the magazine's Top 10 Wines of 1995, more than a decade ago, but I knew it would be fantastic. And it was! The Riesling showed wonderful aromas of petrol, dried pineapple that evolved to lemon rind, honeydew melon and flint. The palate was rich, fresh and dense, even a little waxy. It was delicious. 93 points, non-blind. Shame it was my last bottle.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Trimbach Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Émile 1990 (96, $27, Top 100 of 1995: No. 10).
• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated whites from Alsace.