Bernard Schoffit was in the process of finishing a new cave as well as a bottle-storage area that will be air-conditioned so that he can hold back wine for later sale to restaurants "or bottles of Rangen for release ten years later." He added, "but the Americans want the new vintage immediately." Schoffit told me that in 1999, the rain before and during the harvest swelled the grapes and resulted in a loss of concentration. As in 1998, the heat of August and September burned off some of the grapes' acidity. "But 2000 is the equal of '71, and is even better than '90 and '89," Schoffit claimed. "The vintage is especially strong for tokay and gewurztraminer." Around Colmar, where most of Schoffit vines are located, "we were lucky to have been in a position to pick early in 2000, during the second half of September." The harvest of Schoffit's Rangen vines was much later, between October 5 and 26. (Weygandt-Metzler, Unionville, PA)
Fresh aromas of mint, lime and flowers. Spicy and fairly intensely flavored; offers good stuffing for sylvaner. Even in the generic wines, I made only around 50 hectoliters per hectare in 2000, noted Schoffit.
Aromas of peach, mint, grass and spices. Fresh and spicy in the mouth, with good flavor intensity but only moderate length.
Aromatic nose combines lime blossom and citrus skin. Fat and dense for the variety, with nicely intense, very dry flavors. Shows solid acidity for chasselas. Finishes with noteworthy persistence. My best chasselas ever, says Schoffit, "even better than the '90 because the 2000 finished truly dry."
Component #1 (true pinot blanc): Subdued, spicy nose. Sweet and fresh, with harmonious, ripe acidity. Has texture, size and length. This is 14% alcohol, with 11 g/l r.s. Component #2 (pinot auxerrois): Aromas of honey, butter and hazelnut. Fat, ripe, fruity and full, with soft auxerrois acidity but stronger finishing flavor than #1. This is actually a hair lower in alcohol and a bit higher in sugar. The blend should merit
Rather vague aromas of limey aftershave. Juicy and reasonably fresh, but offers only moderate texture and depth of flavor. A bit skinny on the back. Lacks distinction. The large crop level made 2000 a difficult year for muscat, noted Schoffit, adding that the vintage was also too rich to make good, classic pinot blanc.
Soft citrus fruits, mint and flowers on the rather delicate nose. Juicy, off-dry flavors of lime and spices. Offers good cut but is not at all austere.
Aromas of grapefruit and candied lemon peel. Slightly sweet but juicy and sappy, with ripe, grapefruity acids buffering the sugar. Quite concentrated and firmly structured, with solid underlying minerality. Schoffit hoped this would ferment all but its last three or four grams of sugar. Hard to assess now, but should make a succulent riesling.
Exotic, nuanced nose combines smoke, spice and earth elements. Big, rich and mouthfilling, but bone-dry, even austere, despite its rather silky texture. Classic riesling from volcanic soil. Very sound acidity contributes to the impression of dryness. This will require a good five or six years of bottle aging.
Expressive nose combines rose petal, smoked meat and clove spice. Fat, spicy and on the sweet side, but with plenty of flavor definition. Slightly tannic, moderately sweet finish continues the spicy theme. Doesn't lack for personality. These vines, cropped at less than 35 hectoliters per hectare, were harvested on September 15 with 14.4% potential alcohol.
Reticent but tangy aromas of citrus skin and spices. Chewy and dense in the mouth, but also bright and tangy, with lovely subtle fruit flavors. Finishes long and subtle, with smoke and spice notes.
(probably to be labelled vendange tardive Yellow plum, smoked meat, cinnamon and clove on the subtly complex nose. Fat, layered and powerful; a very tactile, deep gewurztraminer with superb richness and balancing acidity. Long, oily finishing flavors really cling to the palate. This may be even better than the '90, notes Schoffit. About 15% alcohol, with 46 g/l r.s.
Citrus fruits, earth and ground meal on the nose. Dense, chewy and sweet, with superb freshness and delineation of flavor. Tactile and solid. An extremely long wine that maintains its shape. This may be better balanced and more ageworthy than the '97, Schoffit believes, as the '97 was almost too rich for its own good, and a bit low in acidity.
Pale yellow color. Expressive aromas of peach and spring flowers. Concentrated and opulent but with only moderate complexity and depth. I'd like to have seen firmer acid spine. Finishes slightly harsh.
Aromatic nose of orange oil, sweet butter and honeysuckle. Juicy, spicy and penetrating; this boasts far better acidity than the Cuvee Caroline and thus comes across as far more shapely. Finishes very long and brisk, with excellent grip.
Fascinating nose combines dried fruits, nuts, earth, smoke and a mentholated aspect. Thick, chewy and very rich; a big, distinctive wine with solid supporting acidity and a very long, oily finish. I get as much terroir as cepage character here from this splendid vineyard, which is Alsace southernmost grand cru.
(the wine Schoffit calls #1 will actually be put on the market later; at 13.7% alcohol and 66 g/l r.s., this is a bit higher in sugar but lower in alcohol than the other 2000 Rangen cuvee Reticent citric aromas. Sweeter and thicker than the earlier Rangen sample, but also bright and spicy, with a lively quince flavor and more obvious botrytis tang. Finishes with some youthful harshness. This will probably ultimately be the better wine, but will need more time.
Vibrant aromas of dried fruits, mandarin orange, minerals and spices. Unctuous on entry but quickly firmed by strong acidity. High-toned on the nose and in the mouth. A real fruit bomb, with a balance that will give it great immediate appeal. Flavors of orange marmalade and licorice. From a trie of bunches on September 25, yielding a must with 27% potential alcohol; still has more than 200 grams per liter residual sugar.
Lemon, lime, spring flowers and licorice on the nose. Supple and juicy, with good stuffing and richness. Not quite as brisk as the 2000, but possesses good texture.
Fresh aromas of soft citrus fruits, peach and nuts. Supple, fresh and layered in the middle, then a bit skinny on the end. Could use a bit more nuance.
Spicy aromas of lime, flowers and quinine. Spicy, juicy, quite dry and fresh, with the floral aspect continuing in the mouth. This has good cut and length. Perfect with spring asparagus.
Nuts and smoke on the nose. Fat, rich and silky; substantial muscat but rather soft, both for the variety and for the site. Still, this tastes dryer than its 40 grams/liter residual sugar. Finishes with very good length.
Fruit-driven aromas of peach and earth. Rather dry and a bit pinched in the mouth; could use more depth and complexity of flavor. A tad dull on the nose and in the mouth. Finishes a bit warm with alcohol. Some hydric stress here in late summer burned off a portion of the acidity, Schoffit told me.
Apple, peach and a hint of resin on the rather reticent nose. Stony, firm and quite closed today; a rather austere style of riesling that not revealing much today. Ripe and supple but finishes with a faint dry edge.
Gunflint, peach, spices and a jammy nuance on the nose. Dense and gripping, with strong stony character and firm acids. But a rather small-scaled Rangen riesling. This is quite closed and hard to taste today.
Peach, apricot and honey on the nose. Very rich, silky and sweet, but slightly aggressive with alcohol on the back end. Chewy pinot gris, but very good rather than outstanding.
Complex, soil-inflected aromas of dried fruits, minerals and smoky earth; distinct suggestions of eau de vie Quite sweet, thick, rich and deep; a highly concentrated tokay given shape and grip by sound acids and deep spiciness. Serious juice. This seems clearly more successful than Schoffit '99 Rangen riesling.
Reticent but vibrant aromas of ripe citrus fruits and honey. Sweet but quite firm and backward. Tangy acids give the fruit a penetrating quality. But the first Rangen tokay, released earlier, is much more expressive today. Finishes very long and spicy. This is lower in alcohol but higher in residual sweetness
Very light, green-tinged color. Tangy aromas of dried and citrus fruits and honey. Extremely concentrated, dense and young; deceptively easy to taste but really requires bottle aging. Featured a very high percentage of botrytized berries, especially in the context of the year, but doesn't come across as especially unctuous owing to its firm acids. Very long and vibrant on the finish. A freakishly high 12 grams/liter acidity (but then the '95 had 15 grams, Schoffit reminded me).
Closed, resiny nose. Fat, dense and spicy; quite smooth in the mouth, and expressive today. Very good material here. Finishes nicely ripe and long, dusty but not dry. "My only good gewurztraminer in '99," Schoffit admitted, adding that he picked most of his gewurztraminer vines too late in '99 "That why I picked on the early side in 2000."