Last night as I dozed in bed I started thinking about one of my favourite producers: Jean Boxler. As well as being a charming fellow, he has made some of the best wines I’ve had from Alsace. Right through his range there are wines that both intellectually stimulate and titillate with visceral pleasure. They are not that pricey, either.
I first visited M. Boxler with a group of friends, he was an addition to our list of old favourites in the spirit of trying someone new. This was a terribly good move. We tried the 2000s and a few older wines. Experiencing the vivid, striking nature of those wines for the first time is a memory that will remain with me forever. We tried his basic wines with increasing excitement and then he explained about the different plots of Riesling on the Sommerberg Grand Cru he owned, each of which he vinified separately. The different wines from these plots were noticeably different, and a couple were mind-bendingly good. When these are bottled the only distinction on the label is a cryptic code number on top left-hand corner of the label. If memory serves the codes are: L31JV, L31, L31E, L31D and L31D2. The L31JV is a younger-vines cuvée and is a good buy. I seem to recall L31D2 was only made in the 2002 vintage. The L31E and L31D(2) wines are both made from old vines from different soil types and these are easily among the best wines made in Alsace at the moment. He also makes a Riesling from the Brand Grand Cru.
Even though he is clearly a master of Riesling, his other varietal wines are also delicious. They all have marvellous varietal character, but show a high degree of minerality and complexity. The Pinot Blanc ‘B’ (from the Brand Grand Cru) is probably the best Pinot Blanc I’ve ever tried. His Brand Pinot Gris has delicious fruit and a real creamy Alsace character. Normally heady Gewürztraminer is balanced and refined from him, but not short on style and class.
I’ve reported on a few Boxler wines here, jolly good they were too. Apart from that corked one (curses). If you’d like to try some of these wines I’d suggest visiting and then buying all he will sell you. Alternatively, UK readers can try here for drinking wines, and here for slightly more serious stuff. The 04 L31E will age really well. Overseas readers can search for Boxler on Wine Searcher.
PS. I must apologise for the lack on entries recently. I am violently ill and wine makes me blow bits. Quite depressing, really.