The 2008s from Alsace are excellent, racy wines with bright acidity and fine fruit center to balance. Drinking them will be easy, getting there wasn’t. The vintage started propitiously with a cold winter followed by a moderate spring. Bud break came right on time. A dry May saw the vines progressing well, with early flowering sites speeding through the process.
In the second week of June, rain and cool temperatures delayed the late flowering sites, but warmer temperatures later in the month precluded too much damage from colure of millerandage. In the end a decent sized crop was set.
The weather during July and August fluctuated between hot and dry, and cold and wet. July was the wetter month, and managing the vineyards was tricky and labor intensive. The vines were vigorous and disease was a concern. August was better, with the exception of some heavy rains mid-month.
September saw rain and low temperatures during the first two weeks, and dry conditions later in the month. Finally, October started out sunny and dry with good diurnal temperature swings that allowed ripening to proceed without loss of acids. Good weather prevailed until the third week of the month when the rain returned and essentially ended the harvest.
As is often the case, the result of a tumultuous growing season was very good wines – focused, crisp and detailed, with lovely bright acidity and fruit to match that should age quite well.
It was Hubert Meyer, who, in 1963, added the first three letters of his father's name (J-o-s, from Joseph) to the family surname, forming the brand we know today. The Meyers have been in the wine trade for much longer than that, however; Aloyse Meyer, the grandfather of Hubert, began as a négociant in 1854.
Current proprietor, Jean Meyer, is a well-known gourmand whose wines are among the most food-friendly of Alsace: vibrant, crisp and light on their feet. The Josmeyer Rieslings are minerally, focused, on the dry side and capable of aging, especially at the upper end of the price range. Meyer has been known to pair six or seven of his Gewürztraminer bottlings with multiple courses at a single meal to show the flexibility of his wines with food.
Much of the viticulture here is now being directed by Meyer's son-in-law Cristopher Ehrhart, who drove the recent shift towards organic and biodynamic viticulture. The vineyard, which covers 28 hectares, is planted to 28% Riesling, 24% Pinot Blanc & Auxerrois, 21% Pinot Gris, 19% Gewurztraminer and 8% Sylvaner, Muscat and Pinot Noir.
Ranges from dry to sweet, but deeply aromatic in all styles
Munster cheese, pork, goose, spicy Asian food
One of the wine world's love-it-or-hate-it grapes, Gewürztraminer is for many wine lovers the signature variety of Alsace. Its highly perfumed aromas of rose petal, smoked meat, lychee, grapefruit, and spices are immediate and captivating, although some examples lack refinement and seem a bit blowzy owing to low acidity and high alcohol. Gewürztraminer is as unlike the steelier, more aristocratic Riesling as a white grape can be. No other region of the world has been able to produce significant quantities of Gewürztraminer that even approach the decadent richness and exotic fruit qualities that the best producers in Alsace achieve. Still, other than late-harvest versions, Gewürztraminer is normally a dry wine in Alsace, despite smelling like a sweet one. Gewürztraminer marries beautifully with rich, fatty dishes like pork and goose or ripe cheeses, as well as with the exotic spices of Moroccan, Indian, and Far Eastern cuisines.