Although Albert Boxler has considerable holdings in grand cru Sonnenberg, this Pinot Blanc Réserve bottling comes from their parcel in grand cru Brand. The appellation is merely “Alsace,” because by law only four so-called noble grapes can sport a grand cru appellation: Riesling, Pinot Gris, Muscat, and Gewurztraminer (which the French, confusingly, spell without an umlaut).
Soils in the nearly 14-hectare Brand holdings are granite, and Boxler’s viticulture and enology are both old-fangled. Fruit is hand-harvested, and the wines are vinified and aged in old wooden foudres. The 2013 Pinot Blanc Réserve is still young, but right now wraps its core of crunchy minerals with white-fleshed tree fruits and orchard flowers. The finish is quiet, serious, and very long.
I had the chance to sample Boxler’s wines extensively while in Alsace in June 2018. All are truly haunting: flinty, savory, with accents of flowers and herbs, fruits and sunshine. These are thoughtful wines, careful and profound. My notes say, “Boxler’s wines tell you that flowers are serious, that stone is soft.”
2013 Albert Boxler Pinot Blanc Réserve Alsace
13% abv | $31 (sample)
Imported by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant