2015 PINOT NOIR, DOMAINE ALBERT BOXLER We have extolled the virtues of Jean Boxler’s genius many times before and the impeccable balance he achieves in his wines, not merely analytical ripeness, acidity and ABV, but also the balance between the influence of the terroir and the varietal expression. We had been importing from the domaine for several years before I made a chance discovery of some bottles of his Pinot Noir, hidden in a corner of his cellar. This was the Pinot Noir ‘S’, from the Grand Cru Sommerberg. It appeared that he did not share my joy at this discovery and as he somewhat reluctantly opened a bottle for me to taste, emphatically informed me that they were ‘pour la famille’ and not available. This was a complete contrast to all the other cellars that I visited in Alsace at that time, where the producers were proudly insisting that I tasted their Pinot Noir, before I had even walked down the cellar steps and passionately explaining that it had been aged in 100% new oak! This was always a clear indication to me that I should probably avoid tasting at all costs, but in the hope of being proved wrong, (and not having the heart to refuse), I would ‘happily’ oblige, only to find that the wine had been over extracted, over oaked and was lacking any finesse! This first tasting of the Boxler Pinot Noir S was a real revelation! There was nothing forced or over-oaked here, just a wonderfully pure, elegant and effortlessly balanced wine with the minerality of the Sommerberg adding the touch of nobility. My obvious enthusiasm and continual pleading resulted in success and we were rewarded with an allocation of 60 bottles for the UK. This is one of the few Pinot Noirs from any region that I would happily buy blind, although of course, I wouldn’t admit that to Jean, or he might not let me taste on my next visit. The 2015 Pinot Noir, is not from the Sommerberg, but from vineyards around Niedermorschwihr. Not being from the Grand Cru, it is more forward in its evolution, with more emphasis on the charm and character of the varietal, but possessing the same glorious, natural balance, of ripe ‘Pinot’ fruit, pleasing acidity and fine, integrated tannin with the added complexities of the secondary aromas and flavours that are unfolding. I would recommend decanting or opening an hour or two before serving – just enough time to roast the joint! Colour reminiscent of an un-set cherry/plum jam, paling to rim. Fragrant, ripe, sweet, fruit on the bouquet, intense sweet bramble fruit with subtle hints of leather and tobacco behind. Well integrated tannin with good structure and lovely balance of acidity. Opens up in the glass. Tasting a bottle over the course of the week, the wine really developed, revealing delicious open fruit and further secondary complexity. A superb Pinot Noir.
2015 Pinot Noir, Domaine Albert Boxler @ £30.42 per bottle Special Three Bottle Case Price @ £86.70 Special Price per Case x Six Bottles @ £164.30