Third-generation vigneron Jean Boxler makes his world-class wines in the immaculate, storybook village of Niedermorschwihr at the eastern base of the Massif des Vosges. It’s surprisingly sunny this far north, and quintessentially Germanic. Colorful, half-timbered houses are topped with pointy gabled roofs that slope as steeply as the surrounding vineyards. Cheerful and orderly, the place is unlike any other in France, and Jean’s wines are similarly unique. He works with nine different grape varieties, all farmed organically in accordance with traditional Alsatian savoir faire. If you’re looking to spice up your wine routine in 2020, look no further than these three wines.
Interested in a knockout glass of sparkling wine to replace your go-to Prosecco? In the realm of Crémants—de Bourgogne, du Jura, de Loire—Crémant d’Alsace reigns. Where other sparklers are faint of heart, this brut blend of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Auxerrois, and Pinot Noir will boldly stand up to strong flavors like liver pâté with pickled onion, or bitter kale with toasty walnuts.
Earthy Pinot Gris as dramatic and flinty as this, with a hint of residual sugar, demands an assertive pairing. Try it with smoked sausage and mustard, served with a wintry purée of parsnip and rutabaga to highlight its savory side. If there’s any wine left in the bottle, finish it off with some sticky Muenster and ripe pears and you’ll never be happier you saved a drop.
Grown in pure granite, grand cru Sommerberg gives us a broadly structured Riesling that takes further shape in well-seasoned, old foudres. It’s hard to imagine this beauty could taste any better than it does now, but I’ll be curious to revisit it in five to ten years to discover what becomes of its intoxicating perfume of sweet honeysuckle and sleek petrol.
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