Jean Boxler
Photo Credit: Stephen Tanzer
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Jean Boxler compared the estate's 2005s to white wines from the Cote d'Or. "They're undeniably dense but they're not showing clear terroir character now." Father Albert describes 2005 as "all over the place. There was a lot of noble rot and passerillage, and the wines are less clean than the 2004s." On the other hand, he added, the estate made just 38 hectoliters per hectare, or about 25% less than in 2004. I was particularly taken with the Boxlers' late-harvest pinot gris bottlings, glyceral and sweet to be sure but boasting lovely aromatic purity and nicely framed by harmonious acidity. (Robert Chadderdon Selections, New York, NY)

2005 Domaine Albert Boxler Pinot Blanc Reserve

High-pitched citrus aromas offer good purity. Juicy and on the lean side, with a firm mineral spine. A slightly hard-edged wine compared to the estate's '04.

87

2005 Domaine Albert Boxler Riesling Sommerberg Lot 1

Brooding aromas of pineapple, lemon ice and crushed stone; a bit inexpressive following the recent bottling. Then juicy, leanish and tight, with a firm edge to its lemon and mineral flavors. Not a particularly fleshy wine and quite uncompromisingly dry for a riesling from this estate. Distinctly austere on the back end and in need of five or six years of cellaring.

88(+?)

2005 Domaine Albert Boxler Riesling Sommerberg Lot 2

(a second cuvee; these two lots are usually combined but in '05 were bottled separately) Riper aromas of pineapple, stone and spices. Sweeter and suppler than the first sample, with a flavor of lemon cream. Conveys an impression of greater volume but perhaps a bit less precision. A more pliant wine for drinking earlier.

89

2005 Domaine Albert Boxler Riesling Sommerberg "D"

(from old vines) Pale color. Pure aromas of lemon cream and white flowers; one senses the granite soil. Sweet on entry, then racy and fresh in the middle, with lively acidity perking up the ripe pineapple and stone flavors. Not yet particularly complex but this very young wine boasts lovely verve and length, and the balance to reward cellaring.

90(+?)

2005 Domaine Albert Boxler Riesling Sommerberg "E"

(from grapes picked early, but with a lot of surmaturite this may ultimately be labelled VT) Complex, expressive nose offers grapefruit peel, lemon cream, lime and menthol. Very sweet, round and full in the mouth, but with excellent lift from the flavor of lemon peel and piquant acidity that has not yet fully integrated with the wine's fruit. I got the impression that this has more residual sugar and acidity than the '04; in fact, said Jean Boxler, crop levels for both this and the "D" were in the very low 20-hectoliters-per-hectare range, as a good bit of botrytis shrunk volume while concentrating sugars and acids.

91(+?)

2005 Domaine Albert Boxler Pinot Gris Sommerberg Vendanges Tardives Lot 1

(13% alcohol with 80 g/l r.s.) Pale, gold-tinged yellow. Very ripe aromas of peach, tangerine, quince, smoke, butter and pastry dough. Fat and very sweet, but kept firm by nicely integrated acidity; opulent and glyceral but not heavy. Very full in the mouth and long and sweet on the back end, with lovely spiciness but little sign of phenolics. This should gain in complexity with time in bottle.

91

2005 Domaine Albert Boxler Pinot Gris Sommerberg Vendanges Tardives Lot 2

(a second cuvee, from fully botrytized fruit harvested at SGN weight, with 22% potential alcohol and 120 g/l r.s.) Yellow-gold color. Apricot and honey on the nose, with complicating notes of smoked meat and flowers. Like liquid silk in the mouth, with a supersweet flavor of crystallized pineapple nicely firmed by underlying minerality. Fat and broad but not at all heavy; here the acids seem more successfully integrated than in the '05 rieslings. Finishes very long, suave and harmonious. From the steepest and highest part of this grand cru holding, notes Boxler.

93

2005 Domaine Albert Boxler Pinot Gris Brand Selection de Grains Nobles

(from the old-vines parcel that produced the "S" cuvee in 2004) Medium yellow. Knockout high-toned nose combines crystallized citrus peel, pineapple and spices. Glyceral-rich, pure and thick, with a nectar-like sweetness (about 200 grams per liter) that's initially a shock to the teeth. But this very pure, suave wine possesses lovely acidity to leaven its liqueur-like character. Ultimately wonderfully lush, seamless and balanced, with great concentration to its apricot and honey flavors. And nearly endless. Boxler notes that this is almost entirely from nobly rotten berries.

94
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