Jean Boxler Riesling can only rarely be bettered

Second Boxler in a few days, I feel fortunate and downright deserving. This wine speaks to me, and tells me much nicer things than my damned auditory hallucinations. Good job I can deal with them quite well enough these days and so pay more attention to what this wine is telling me, eh?

Riesling Grand Cru Sommerberg L31E 2004, Domaine Albert Boxler

[image image_id=”2632″ size=”medium” title=”Riesling Grand Cru Sommerberg L31E 2004, Domaine Albert Boxler”] Heavens above, this nose is incredibly mineral. There is a really powerful stoniness to it, vaguely similar too, but richer and more earthy than, the slate aromas one finds in decent Mosel Rieslings. There is also lots of citrus fruit of a distinctly beautiful, polished character. For all of its complexity and style I think this nose just erupts with love; a wine to sniff and be ravished by. The palate has obvious weight and power, yet is perfectly balanced by a screaming backbone of acidity more than powerful enough to burn a rather complicated pattern on the inside of my knackered stomach. I do love acidity in wines, balanced acidity of course, but my stomach does complain about it sometimes. Anyway, the interplay between weighty, ripe fruit, powerful minerality and star-bright acidity make this a decidedly thrilling, totally enthralling drink. Terribly long as well with all of those sophisticated flavours persisting for an impressive period of time. It is so complex and downright drinkable I almost wish I had the bottle to myself, but it is making my drinking companions smile so much how could I deny them a little top up? This is really very serious dry Riesling of outstanding class and top-drawer style, they don’t get much better.

  • Richard B

    Can you tell me a bit about the L31E (or L##D etc) designations? I have a few of these wines (in fact a Riesling Sommerberg L31E 2000 in the fridge right now) but I don’t know what this code means.

    I do know they are lovely wines.

    Also, the baby arrived safely this week, so soon I will try and fix up dinner.


  • David Strange

    Congratulations Richard, I hope becoming a father is not too traumatic. If it is then I suggest self-medicating with fine wine.

    The codes I know about on the Sommerberg Rieslings are: L31JV, L31, L31E, L31D and L31DII. The L31JV is a younger-vines cuvée and is a good buy if not the most thrilling wine in the world. L31 is made from a melange of mature but not old vines from across the Grand Cru. The L31E and L31D(II) wines are both made from old vines grown on different soil types, the L31D usually being harvested later than the E so it has more ripeness, weight and power. I seem to recall L31DII was only made in the 2002 vintage and was a special cuvee made from grapes harvested even later than the regular D parcel. These are easily amongst the best wines made in Alsace at the moment.

    Dinner might have to wait until July when I get back from my sojourn in the Mosel, Alsace and Burgundy; things are a bit hectic from now until the trip. This means I can break some wines out of my cellar in Burgundy to drink with dinner. I’ve got plenty of quality kit begging to be liberated and imbibed.

    Good luck with the whole child-thing.