As Jean Meyer is always in Japan in early May, I tasted this year with Jean daughter Isabelle, who handles the estate's restaurant sales in Europe and takes the pairing of Josmeyer wines with food as seriously as her father does. (The Josmeyer wines tend to carry relatively low levels of residual sugar, making them more flexible at the dinner table.) Isabelle describes the estate's 2000s as being lower in acidity than the '99s, which are austere by comparison. Among the recent developments at this domain is the ongoing conversion to biodynamie which will be complete as of this year. In addition, Meyer purchased a new press in 2000 that will make it easier to ferment whole grapes, as well as a tapis de trie a sorting table with conveyor belt that facilitates the elimination of less-than-perfect fruit. (Paterno Imports, Lake Bluff, IL)

2000 Josmeyer Pinot Blanc Mise du Printemps

Spice and lime aromas. Supple and juicy, with rather open-knit flavors of lime and banana. Easygoing, nicely textured pinot.

85

2000 Josmeyer Pinot Blanc Les Lutins

Fresh aromas of lime, white grapefruit and white peach. Juicy, firm and fairly intensely flavored; purer than the Mise du Printemps. Finishes with mint and licorice notes.

85-86

2000 Josmeyer Pinot Auxerrois "H" Vieilles Vignes

Aromatic, oily aromas of white peach and tangerine. Supple and fairly broad, with good weight in the mouth. Musky suggestions of citrus fruits, peach and minerals. Not yet filled in but displays good persistence.

87-90

1999 Josmeyer Pinot Auxerrois "H" Vieilles Vignes

Herbal and resiny nuances on the nose. Less open in the mouth than the 2000, with perhaps higher acidity, and thus comes across as dryer. Rather austere for this bottling but still supple on the back end.

87

2000 Josmeyer Riesling Le Kottabe

Mint and fresh herbs on the nose. Leanish but penetrating, with moderately ripe citrus skin and herbal flavors. A bit skinny and sharp-edged but finishes with decent grip.

85-86

1999 Josmeyer Riesling Le Dragon

Flinty aromas of minerals, smoke and citrus fruits. Complex flavors of citrus, smoke, stones and apple, along with an incipient petrol quality. A wine of good finesse and length.

87

2000 Josmeyer Riesling Les Pierrets

Mint, lime skin and white grapefruit on the nose. Juicy, pure and intensely flavored, with brisk, stony flavors. Dry but not hard. Penetrating acidity calls out for service with food. I like this style.

87-89

1999 Josmeyer Riesling Les Pierrets

Cool aromas of menthol and resin; a bit more vegetal than the 2000. Then fairly rich and ripe, if rather closed today, with eau de vie-like notes of apple and pear. Quite dry and uncompromising.

86

2000 Josmeyer Riesling Les Pierrets Cask #9

(a yet-to-be-named cuvee made from grapes farmed according to the principles of biodynamie Aromas of spice, mint and honeysuckle; seems clearly riper than the regular Pierrets cuvee Fat, dense and supple, with harmonious acids and a tactile impression of extract. Fairly sizable wine, pliant and deep.

88-90

2000 Josmeyer Riesling Brand

Subtle, reticent nose hints at citrus skin, flint and petrol. Penetrating, gingery and quite dry; lean and uncompromising today but nicely tactile on the back end. This may be austere for the vintage, but it true to its grand cru site.

88-91

1999 Josmeyer Riesling Brand

Pear, pineapple and minerals on the nose. Fresh and rather powerful in the mouth, with penetrating, youthful pear and pineapple flavors. Solidly structured, young and persistent. Needs to be served with food.

89(+?)

2000 Josmeyer Riesling Hengst

Perfumed, musky aromas of lime blossom and mint. Penetrating, stony and dry, with citrus and floral nuances. Quite closed today and rather dominated by its sizable structure. Classic riesling for aging.

89-92

1999 Josmeyer Riesling Hengst

Minerals, pear, petrol and a whiff of resin on the nose. Powerfully structured, minerally and dry, with bracing hints of grapefruit skin and anise. Distinctly sinewy wine, finishing with a trace of alcohol. Still quite young.

88(+?)

2000 Josmeyer Riesling Hengst Samain

Pear blossom, lime, honeysuckle and licorice on the nose; distinct signs of tangy botrytis. Then spicy and a bit sugary in the mouth; has only 10 grams or so of residual sugar, but the sweetness has not yet been absorbed. Seems a bit disjointed today.

87-89

1999 Josmeyer Riesling Hengst Samain

Reticent, soil-driven aromas of grapefruit and flint, plus an incipient fusel element. Rich, ripe and intensely flavored, with complex notes of grapefruit, peach, flowers and stone. Dense and concentrated. Classic dry riesling, ripe and long on the back end.

90(+?)

2000 Josmeyer Tokay-Pinot Gris Fondation 1854

Bright, pure aromas of orange peel and spices; shows an oily richness rare for this wine. Very rich and off-dry (15 g/l r.s.), but not at all heavy; perhaps in the style of the '95 Cuvee du Centenaire. A bit sweet for this cuvee but nicely balanced, fresh and long.

88-90

1999 Josmeyer Tokay-Pinot Gris Fondation 1854

Ripe aromas of honey, apricot, orange and earth. Rich and moderately sweet, but could use a bit more clarity and grip. An easy, low-acid wine that just short of cloying. Slightly earthy. There's another cuvee wearing the identical label that possesses less residual sugar; I found this latter wine a bit too dry, if not somewhat rustic.

86

2000 Josmeyer Tokay-Pinot Gris Brand

Tangy, pure aromas of orange oil, tangerine and spices. Bright, penetrating and fairly dry (just 7 g/l r.s.), with firm stone and mineral elements framing the rich fruit. A substantial young pinot gris for aging. Wears its 14.5% alcohol gracefully.

88-90

1999 Josmeyer Tokay-Pinot Gris Brand

Flint, honey, resin and spice on the nose. Rich and expansive, with mirabelle and flint flavors. As liqueur-like as this is, it also rather dry, even austere. Has a strong structure for pinot gris. An interesting wine that merits another three or four years of bottle aging.

88

2000 Josmeyer Tokay-Pinot Gris Hengst Vendange Tardive

Penetrating aromas of peach syrup, pear and mint. Succulent, fresh and dusty; still holding a lot of gas. Quite thick for a wine from this cellar, but not at all heavy. Very VT in style, and easy to drink thanks to its delicious fruit flavor. Very long on the aftertaste.

90-92

1999 Josmeyer Tokay-Pinot Gris Hengst Vendange Tardive

Oily aromas of herbs, resin and truffle. Powerfully structured and quite rich, with a flavor of yellow plum. But in a rather awkwardly alcoholic phase today, and a bit warm on the back end.

87(+?)?

2000 Josmeyer Gewurztraminer Les Folastries

Explosive aromas of smoked meat, lichee and spice. Then almost shockingly dry in the mouth, with classic varietal flavors of smoked, spiced meats. Finishes spicy and slightly aggressive.

85-87

1999 Josmeyer Gewurztraminer Hengst

Aromas of poire, sour apple and marzipan. Sweetish and soft, with a flavor of poire Fresher than the '99 Brand bottling, but still a bit warm and lacking in verve. Finishes with hints of caramel and walnut.

85

2000 Josmeyer Gewurztraminer Les Archenets

Pure aromas of clove and smoked meat. Supple, smoky, rich and off-dry, with ripe supporting acidity giving the wine solid spine. Generous of texture and light on its feet. Finishes with strong smoked meat character.

87-88

2000 Josmeyer Gewurztraminer Les Archenets

Brooding, subtly perfumed aromas of smoked meats and yellow plum. Richer and more concentrated than the "normal" Archenets, with more sheer size and texture. Smoky, lingering, altogether serious finish. An off-dry wine with excellent varietal character.

88-90

2000 Josmeyer Gewurztraminer Hengst

Pure, focused aromas of smoked meat, rose petal and lichee; essence of gewurztraminer. Very rich, concentrated and off-dry. A powerfully structured, chewy young wine that wears its residual sugar gracefully. Finishing flavors really cling to the palate. Classic, complete gewurztraminer; very firm but not hard or heavy.

89-92
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