Josmeyer GC Brand Riesling 2009

Alsace is at the forefront of the Biodynamic movement and it seemed that every producer we visited was either fully Biodynamic or heading towards conversion. Josmeyer is one of those that is fully Biodynamic. They are certified Organic by Ecocert, and Biodynamic by both Demeter (the Biodynamic body for all products) and Biodyvin (which only deals with certifying Biodynamic wines). Before converting to Biodynamics, the Josmeyer estate used to buy in grapes from other growers, but to ensure the grapes are biodynamic they offered their growers a 30 year rental agreement on their land, rather than their harvest. This meant that they could also convert this land, making all of their wines entirely Biodynamic. 

The company itself was started in 1854 by Aloyse Meyer who was succeeded by his son Joseph Meyer in 1933. It was in 1963 that Hubert Meyer (Joseph’s son) decided to add the first three letters of his father’s name to the company and therefore creating the name JosMeyer. The company is now run by the fifth generation of Meyers, with Jean Meyer staying on as Chairman of the Board. The fifth generation are Jean’s daughters Céline (Managing Director) and Isabelle (Winemaker), who are ably assisted by Christophe Ehrhart who is not only the winegrower and a champion of Biodynamics, but also looks after their International Relations.

I was lucky enough to taste the majority of their very large range when visiting the estate, and found it very difficult to choose between their two top cuvées. Having bought a couple of their Grand Crus at the Domaine, I had the luxury to taste them again at home, and on the day I found that the Grand Cru Brand (fire) just edged it over the Hengst (stallion). The Grand Cru Brand is in the village of Turkheim, the vineyard has a south to south-eastern exposure and sits on deep granite soils with layers of black mica and gneiss.

Tasting Note Root DayRoot Day
Whilst Brand means fire this wine is not flashy or fiery, it is elegant and well balanced. Balance is key in any great wine, but it seems particularly important with Biodynamic wines*. The nose is brimming with notes of freshly zested limes, flint and a slight hint of peach. The palate is dry with bundles of fresh acidity, at this stage the fruit is all fresh green fruits: apples and limes; with no secondary flavours. This Riesling has an incredibly long finish with a lovely pure minerality lingering on the palate. 

*The proponents of Biodynamic viticulture all mention how the focus in the vineyards is for the vines to achieve equilibrium. A note on Biodynamic Viticulture will be posted in the future which will be found in the tips section.

July 2011

Josmeyer GC Brand Riesling 2009
Country: France
Region: Alsace
Vintage: 2009
Alcohol: 12%
Grape Variety:
Where To Buy:
Pol Roger – UK importer, The Wine Society – not the same vintage, Wine-Searcher
Tags: Wine of the Week, France, Alsace, Grand Cru Brand, Riesling, Josmeyer, White Wine