SPECIAL SAMPLER PRICE $188.00
(a 25% discount)
This item does not take further discounts
Whenever I write about Alsatian wines I inevitably end up perusing the shop copy of Tom Stevenson’s The Wines of Alsace. It’s an impressively comprehensive survey of the region’s terroir, producers, and history. For example, did you know that most of the crop in 1272 was eaten by wolves? Anyway, there’s a great quote in the book about Albert Boxler: Boxler is a genius, capable of producing the most stunning wines but occasionally falling flat on his face. That is fine by me, as it means he is always searching, learning and improving in his quest for that impossible dream, the perfect wine, and I would not want to be denied the fabulous wines he makes along the way. The Boxlers have been growing grapes in Alsace since the seventeenth century, but Albert, beginning in the late 1940s, was the first to bottle the wine and sell it under the family label so it’s not surprising that he had a misstep now and again. Albert’s grandson Jean is in charge of the domaine now, and if he hasn’t fulfilled his grandfather’s “impossible dream” he’s come pretty damn close. There are no missteps at Boxler anymore. I’ve been awed by the domaine’s recent vintages, and 2016 is a stunner. A warm, dry summer and good harvest conditions yielded textbook wines of grace and clarity. From the easy drinkers like the zingy Edelzwicker Réserve and the delicate, floral Chasselas to more complex offerings like the honeyed Gewurztraminer and structured Riesling Réserve, Jean’s deft touch in the cellar is on full display. And the Pinot Noir “S” is a rare treat and a dead ringer for a fine red Burgundy. If you’re unfamiliar with the domaine, this sampler is a great introduction. If you’re already a fan of Boxler, well then you already know what a great deal this is.
Tragically, Alsace might be the most misunderstood wine region of France. In spite of its long history of viticulture and tremendous diversity of pedigreed terroirs, a past fraught with marketing mishaps has left consumers baffled as to what exactly to expect inside one of these mysterious tall, thin bottles.
The good news, on the other hand, is that a new wave of quality-oriented growers is working hard to put Alsace in its rightful place as one of the world’s most fascinating sources of fine white wine. By embracing tradition, respecting terroir, and making a concerted effort to better communicate the countless virtues their wines have to offer, they have succeeded in putting Alsace back on the map.
Crafted from a number of grape varieties and beautifully interpreting the region’s mosaic of soil types, our Alsace imports are by and large dry whites offering exceptional versatility at table. While each of these selections is ready to be uncorked tonight, the finest among them are also capable of maturing for many, many years in a cool cellar. Expect kaleidoscopic aromatics, lively acidities, and loads of terroir transparency in these skillfully crafted masterpieces. Enjoy a foray into the thrilling world of the world’s most underrated wine region, and certainly do not hesitate to contact our sales staff with any questions as you take off on this mouth-watering adventure.
Great winemakers, great terroirs, there is never any hurry. And I no longer buy into this idea of “peak” maturity. Great winemakers, great terroirs, their wines offer different pleasures at different ages.
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