Albert Boxler Edelzwicker 2010
Wine: Albert Boxler Edelzwicker Réserve
Grapes: Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Auxerrois, Riesling, Gewurztraminer
Albert Boxler is one of the oldest and greatest estates in Alsace, France and honestly, the wine growing world. The vineyards were established in 1673, and in 1946, Albert Boxler returned home to post WWII France from a stint in Big Sky country Montana, to be the first of the family lineage to bottle their own production under a family label. Albert's grandson Jean now runs the domaine and does so with a clear respect for his ancestry. In a wine culture of ever-expanding globalization and mechanized, technological practices, Jean maintains all traditional methods.
Vineyards are farmed organically, wines are fermented with natural yeast, and the cuvées are aged in old foudres that impart no oak flavors. The estate produces all the noble varieties in single-grape bottlings - gewurztraminer, muscat, riesling, and pinot gris - as well as the sparkling Crémant d'Alsace, the late harvest dessert wine Vendange Tardive, Séleccion de Grain Nobles (SGN) and the Edelzwicker.
Albert Boxler Edelzwicker Réserve 2010 may be the most respected example of the category in Alsace. By AOC law, the wine can be a blend of two plus grapes, and Jean's blend changes from vintage to vintage. The style is considered the lowest level of Alsace wines, typically a field blend of sorts, but producers with choice vineyards, prestige and a deft hand in the winery (like Jean Boxler) will not disappoint. This wine is one of the more affordable of the Boxler lineup, and I was thrilled to find it at the Mountain Brook Western supermarket in Birmingham for $22.
The 2010 is a blend of sylvaner, pinot blanc, pinot auxerrois, riesling and gewurztraminer. The last two grapes were the most prominent on the palate, with lychee and petrol notes and some subtle nuttiness beginning to show from age. It's rich golden color is fair warning for the sumptuous body, though a bright acid backbone breaks through and makes it sing. I shared this bottle with my mother on her deck in what feels like fall weather here in North Alabama. The wine was a perfect match with creamy mushroom brie. It's a gorgeous wine and I wish I had 10 more bottles just like it.