Jean-Pierre Dirler is now more or less retired, although he is still active in this family domain. Son Jean, who became instrumental in winemaking with the 1999 vintage, took over in 2000. As some vineyards from Jean father-in-law have reverted back to this domain, the Dirlers now work with 18 hectares. The 1999 vintage featured a rather small crop of grapes, according to Jean, especially in muscat and gewurztraminer, which had problems during flowering (the gewurztraminer was actually picked into November and produced distinctly lighter wines than either 2000 or 1998, according to Jean). The 2000 vintage featured considerable rain during the harvest, and some early gray rot, but by late October, the only botrytis remaining was of the noble persuasion. This vintage has yielded an especially strong set of gewurztraminers. (Robert Chadderdon Selections, New York, NY)
Medium red. Varietally accurate aromas of cherry and spice. Juicy and fruit-driven, with firm acids. Nicely brisk and intense. Finishes with slightly dry but light tannins.
Bright, full red. Subtle aromas of black cherry and raspberry. Juicy and spicy in the mouth; on the lean side but with good intensity and cut. Persistent on the back end.
Aromas of red berries, cumin and anise. Vibrant and ripe in the mouth, with an exotic note of peach and a surprisingly fat texture. Offers good length. Dirler recommends serving this with smoked fish.
Exotic aromas of honey and apricot. Fat, sweet and full, with bright acids carrying though to the slightly disjointed finish. Has a lot of material and will no doubt benefit from egg white fining.
Subdued nose combines honey and flowers. Juicy, firm and moderately intense; given shape by sound acidity. Has persistence. Not bad.
Ripe aromas of peach and honeysuckle. Fat and supple on the palate, with sound acidity and enticingly sweet fruit flavors. The Kessler vines give power to this sylvaner.
Pure, perfumed aroma of honeysuckle. Supple, dry and rather subtle, with an underlying gunflint minerality giving this classic dinner-table muscat structure and verve. Impressive.
Subtle aromas of lime, honey, mint and flowers. Leanish and small-scaled but bright, pure and fresh.
Toast, flowers and pit fruits on the nose. Quite youthfully unevolved, but with riper acidity than that of the basic 2000 muscat. Finishes with good length and a faint dusty quality.
Pure aromas of peach, flowers and minerals. Rich, chewy and layered; conveys an impression of extract and soil character. Finishes with lingering citrus flavors.
Peach and white flowers on the nose. Ripe, fruity and easygoing, with sound supporting acidity. Just off-dry at five grams/liter r.s. A good value: this would make an attractive house pour for a restaurant.
Aromas of orange oil and banana. Big, rich, ripe and concentrated, with nicely integrated acidity. Wears its alcohol gracefully. Finishes with very good length.
Complex aromas of crystallized pit fruits, lemon, minerals and smoke. Big, rich and off-dry; fat and chewy. Almost vendange tardive in weight. Long finish features smoke and spice notes.
Lime, tangerine and smoke on the nose. Tight and lean in the mouth; not especially fleshy or concentrated but offers good balance and cut. Solid basic riesling.
Nuanced nose combines lime, herbs and flowers. Bright, firm and dry, with good intensity and noteworthy elegance. Offers solid structure despite its rather low acidity. Finishes with good persistence.
Perfumed aromas of yellow plum and stone. Dense but bright and high-pitched. Mineral-tinged flavors of grapefruit and pineapple. Finishes quite brisk, with firm acidity.
Ripe, slightly earthy nose could use a bit more precision. Supple and off-dry; nicely aromatic but rather simple. These grapes lost some concentration after the rain, noted Dirler.
Perfumed, expressive aromas of lime and minerals. Fat and just off-dry, with flavors similar to the aromas. Nicely balanced, easygoing and persistent; an attractive, immediately accessible combination of fruits and minerals.
Superripe aroma of crystallized grapefruit peel. Fat, sweet, supple and mouthfilling; not hugely complex or classic but satisfying. Enticing pit fruit flavors suggest a degree of surmaturite
Ripe aromas of grapefruit and smoke. Quite silky in the mouth, with a flavor of superripe grapefruit. A touch of sweetness is nicely leavened by bright acids. Finishes with sound backbone and grip. This will benefit from a few years of bottle aging. Dirler recommends pairing this riesling with a river fish like sandre (pike-perch).
Ripe grapefruit peel on the nose. Dense but quite penetrating, thank to its strong minerality. Flavor of ripe grapefruit. Rather powerful wine, finishing with excellent persistence and a refreshing bitter edge. Serve this with iodiney seafood, says Dirler. (It barely 10:30 in the morning, and I'm already getting hungry for lunch.)
Reticent but complex aromas of lime, lemon, minerals and mint. Fat, full and concentrated; a big, rich, deep wine with an attractive touch of sweetness (11 g/l r.s.). Chewy minerality gives it noteworthy power. Very strong material here. Should be at its best in about six years.
Slightly blurry nose. Sweet, attractive flavors of pineapple and pit fruits. Concentrated, round and easygoing but lacks real thrust. Here the residual sweetness partly blocks the site character.
Citrus skin and wet stones on the nose. Juicy, firm and bright, with lively grapefruity acidity. Moderately sweet but fresh and balanced, with noteworthy intensity of flavor. The sweetness should be absorbed as this very persistent riesling ages in bottle.
Pure, musky aromas of smoke and yellow fruits. Sweet, round and silky in the mouth; verging on thick. Finishes with excellent length. Should make a perfect accompaniment to foie gras.
High-pitched, bright aromas of peach and soft citrus fruits, with a suggestion of tangy botrytis. Very dense, chewy and concentrated; firm acidity gives this the sugar/acid balance of a succulent, perfectly ripe peach and really carries the wine flavors. This tastes only moderately sweet despite its 92 g/l r.s. From small, well-aerated grapes harvested on September 22.
Tangy aromas of mandarin orange, lemon, honey and earth; not quite as pure as the 2000. Fat, sweet and attractive, but can't match the 2000 for grip, cut or thrust. Here the acidity is lower by nearly a full gram per liter.
Pure aromas of lichee and cinnamon. Just off-dry and shapely, with enticing spicy fruit. A nice mouthful of gewurztraminer and a very solid basic bottling.
Musky aromas of rose petal and cumin. Fat and silky, but with very acidity and bright spicy character. Not at all overly sweet at 23 g/l r.s. Its 14% alcohol gives it an impression of power. Should make a very good aperitif.
Cool floral and spicy aromas. Precise, spicy and fresh; in a lighter style. Hides its 19 g/l r.s. well. But not especially complex and a bit harsh on the back end.
Slightly reduced aromas of cinnamon and char. Rather densely packed and tight, with slightly sweet fruit and notes of citrus skin and clove. Tricky to assess today.
Pure, complex aromas of rose petal and spices. Big, silky and very rich, with lovely harmonious acidity buffering the 42 g/l r.s. Fruit really saturates the palate and lingers on the aftertaste. A rather elegantly styled wine with firm grip.
High-pitched aromas of flowers, spices and mint (this wine always smells minty when the fruit is very ripe, notes Dirler). Rather powerful and backward on the palate, with musky, nuanced flavors of ripe yellow fruits. Massive, moderately sweet gewurztraminer from very strong material. Really grips the palate on the aftertaste.
Soft citrus scents along with mirabelle and honey on the nose. A super-concentrated fruit bomb with compellingly sappy, sweet flavors of crystallized citrus and yellow fruits. Very long and powerful wine.
Quite reticent on the nose. Thick, chewy and sappy; very densely packed but still quite unforthcoming. But juicy acids give the wine delineation and extend the finish. From vines picked about five days later than those used for the "basic" Spiegel.
Expressive, musky aromas of lichee, rose petal and dusty stone. Superconcentrated and bright, with exotic flavors of crystallized lime, grapefruit and lichee. Really gripping fruit here, with concentration more through passerillage than via noble rot. A bit higher in alcohol than the regular Kessler, but with similar residual sugar.
Restrained aromas of lemon and earth. Powerful but racy, rot-ennobled flavors of crystallized yellow plum and minerals supported by lovely acidity. Distinctly brighter and less roasted than the fat, gamey, extravagantly rich '97 version of this wine, which is at its peak right now.
Still-young, rather bound-up aromas of fruit salad, rose petal and nutmeg. Fat, full and pure; has fairly low acidity for SGN yet avoids heaviness. Very young and fine on the back end.
Musky, pure, complex nose hints at orange peel. Superconcentrated and chewy in the mouth, with superb tangy acidity giving the orange and honey flavors great clarity. A fruit bomb with great power and thrust; almost painful today. Conveys an impression of great sucrosity but retains excellent freshness. Finishes with uncanny persistence.