Just two appointments on my last day in Alsace, but they were very good ones. First, Josymeyer, with Celine Meyer, managing director. Her sister Isabelle is the winemaker, and the style here tends to dryness and precision.
The Riesling Kottabe 2009 is the value pick here, but in terms of absolute quality, the 2008 Grand Cru Hengst Riesling (in both regular and special ‘Samain’ bottling) and the 2008 Grand Cru Brand Pinot Gris are among Alsace’s top wines.
Then it was off to Dirler-Cade for lunch.
Ludivine and Jean Dirler hosted us for a tasting, and then for lunch we joined Jean’s parents, who had cooked some amazing white asparagus. When Ludivine (from the Cade family) got together with Jean, they merged each of their family’s holdings of 9 hectares each, creating a domaine of 18 hectares, 40% of which is Grand Cru. The vineyards, which are managed biodynamically, are close to the village of Guebwiller.
We had some lovely old Alsace wines with lunch, including the Riesling Saering 2001 and Riesling Spiegel 2001 side by side with a tuna starter. With the asaparagus, we had Muscat Saering, comparing 1998 and 2005 side by side, again.
Spiegel 1999 Muscat followed. I hadn’t taken Muscat seriously before, but from these great terroirs the wine ages beautifully, losing some of its Muscat character and gaining complexity.
Finally, a Spiegel Riesling 1983 showed just how ageworthy good Alsace whites can be.
And I need to mention the cherry tart. Fabulous stuff.